Afghan and Iranian Asylum Seekers Rampage Through German Town, Injuring 12
The Bavarian town of Amberg is in shock after a group of asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Iran rampaged through the city Saturday night. Four attackers aged 17 to 19 randomly beat exiting passengers at the train station, and then moved to the city center to continue their rampage.
According to reports, the attackers shouted "kafir" (a derogatory term meaning "non-Muslim," "unbeliever") and "n*****" at some victims.
In all, 12 victims ranging from ages 16 to 42 needed medical attention. A 17-year-old victim was treated for severe head wounds.
German authorities announced that at least two of the attackers have already had their asylum claims rejected, and that at least one should have already have been deported. This has prompted German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer to demand changes to deportation laws, as Deutsche-Welle reports:
Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said asylum-seekers who commit violent crimes must leave the country, after a group of apparently drunken teenagers attacked a dozen people in the Bavarian town of Amberg.
"If existing laws are not sufficient, they must be changed," Seehofer told Wednesday's edition of Germany's Bild newspaper. "The events in Amberg are very troubling. This is excessive violence, which we cannot tolerate."
Seehofer -- the leader of Bavaria's Christian Social Union (CSU) party, the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats -- said that he would make suggestions to the federal government. Seehofer had already made similar proposals in mid-December for the beginning of this year.
The accused are currently being held in pretrial detention on charges of causing dangerous bodily harm.
Rainer Wendt, the head of Germany's police union, called on the federal government to make a statement with this case.
"The federal government must take a stand on this case," Wendt told Bild.
He also criticized authorities for saying the motive of the four suspects was unknown. "I'll tell you the motive," he told Bild. "It is deep disdain for our nation and the people who live among us."
Afterwards, Amberg's Mayor Michael Cerny has appeared more concerned about Facebook comments in reaction to the incident and in defending the reputation of asylum seekers than about the violent rampage that had taken place on his watch.
"I can understand the insecurity seen in some of the reactions of some Ambergers, but the hatred and the threats of violence from all over the country go way too far," he told the local daily Mittelbayerische Zeitung.
According to the München Merkur, an 18-year-old Iranian attacker who has no passport was already facing deportation proceedings and should have let the country in February 2018.
Another one of the attackers, an Afghan, cannot be deported under current rules because he is 17. The Bavarian state government is now asking federal authorities to lift the ban on deporting violent minors.