Two Pakistanis and a Syrian man were injured in attacks by gangs of people in Cologne, German police said late on Sunday, the city where the vast majority of dozens of New Year Eve assaults on women took place.
Local newspaper Express reported that the attackers were members of rocker and hooligan gangs who via Facebook arranged to meet in downtown Cologne to start a "manhunt" of foreigners.
The assaults on women in Cologne and other German cities have prompted more than 600 criminal complaints, with the police investigation focusing on asylum seekers and migrants.
The assaults, ranging from theft to sexual molestation, have prompted a highly charged debate in Germany about Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door policy on refugees and migrants, more than one million of whom entered the country last year.
Cologne police said a group of about 20 people attacked six Pakistanis on Sunday evening, injuring two of them. In another incident a few minutes later, a group of five people attacked and injured a Syrian man, police said.
On Monday, a regional parliamentary commission in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia, whose largest city is Cologne, will question police and others about the events on New Year's Eve.
The anti-Islam political movement, PEGIDA, whose supporters threw bottles and fire crackers at a march in Cologne on Saturday before being dispersed by riot police, will hold a rally in the eastern German city of Leipzig on Monday evening.
The attacks on women in Cologne have also sparked a debate about tougher rules for migrants who break the law, faster deportation procedures and increased security measures such as more video surveillance in public areas and more police.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
In Cannes, glittery film festival literally costs the earth
Youths protest in Europe over climate crisis
Several hurt in bomb explosion in France
UK will leave EU in October, deal or no deal, says Johnson
May resigns; Britain's new PM in place by July 20: Conservatives
Marble head of ancient Roman divinity discovered near the Colosseum
Sweden's Thunberg demands climate action on day of global school strikes
UK, the Netherlands kick off EU elections
Climate change effects can be reversed, DiCaprio’s Ice on Fire claims at Cannes