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3 500 attacks on refugees in Germany in 2016, 43 children injured

There were 3 533 attacks on refugees and refugee hostels across Germany in 2016, the Funke Media Group said in a report on Sunday.

The attacks left 560 people injured, among them 43 children, according to an interior ministry response to a parliamentary question cited by the media group.

Out of the attacks, almost three quarters targeted refugees outside of their accommodations. Another 988 attacks were carried out on refugee housing. In addition, 217 refugee organisations and volunteers were attacked. The figures are only preliminary and may be adjusted later.

It comes as Germany grapples with processing a backlog of asylum requests amid heightened concern over security in the wake of a string of terror attacks across Europe.

The government has responded by toughening asylum procedures and implementing a raft of security measures ahead of federal elections in September, in which refugees are a top issue.

But often lost in the debate over security are right-wing attacks on refugees. Opposition Left Party spokesperson Ulla Jelpke told the media group the numbers show there are nearly 10 attacks on asylum seekers a day.

“Must there first be deaths before right-wing violence is classified as a central internal security problem and put at the top of the domestic policy agenda?”Jelpke asked.

She urged the government to stop giving the impression through new tougher asylum laws that refugees were a threat. “Instead, Nazis are threatening refugees and therefore our democracy,” she said.

(Source: DW. Final editing by Issa Sikiti. Photo: A shelter for asylum seekers in Germany, credit by DW)

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