April 5, 2016 / 1:12 PM / 2 years ago

Germany records 300 attacks on asylum shelters so far this year

BERLIN (Reuters) - There were almost 300 attacks and other criminal offences against German asylum shelters in the first quarter of the year, police said on Tuesday, which suggests the 2016 total could exceed last year’s level.

A general view of tents at a shelter for migrants inside a hangar of the former Tempelhof airport in Berlin, Germany, December 9, 2015. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

The arrival of more than one million migrants into Germany last year has prompted a significant rise in attacks against asylum shelters. They reached 1,029 last year, compared with 199 in 2014 and 69 in 2013.

But the flow of migrants into Germany has slowed to a trickle in recent weeks, following the effective closure of the Balkan route bringing people through southeastern Europe, and it was not clear what effect that could have on future attacks.

Of the 292 offenses registered in the first quarter - more than three attacks a day on average - 33 were arson attacks, 59 were acts of violence, and one was an explosion, police said.

The rest were damage to property and propaganda offences, police added.

Reporting by Thorsten Severin; Writing by Joseph Nasr

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