Driver injures 4 in ‘xenophobic’ attack

 

(AFP file pic)

BERLIN: A man injured four people in Germany after driving into a group celebrating the new year, in what police described as an anti-migrant attack Tuesday.

“The authorities think that this is a targeted attack, motivated by the driver’s hostility to foreigners,” said the Essen prosecutors office and Muenster police.

They also said they thought the 50-year-old suspect has mental health issues.

The incident took place a little after midnight in the town of Bottrop, about 12 km north of Essen in Germany’s west.

The driver first tried to run over a person, but they managed to get out of the way.

He then drove into a group setting off fireworks in the street, as many people do when celebrating the new year in Germany.

Four people were injured, some of them seriously, said police, adding that they were of Afghan and Syrian origin.

A little later, the driver attempted another attack in a town close to Essen, without managing to injure anyone.

He made “remarks hostile to foreigners” while being arrested by police, said officials