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Attacks on refugee centers decreasing in Germany, report says

Attacks on refugee centers in Germany have fallen and are now on par with levels prior to 2015, according to a newspaper report. The Left Party has warned, however, that the number is still too high.

Kassel Brand in der Flüchtlingsunterkunft (picture-alliance/dpa/B. Schoelzchen)

There have been numerous arson attacks on refugee shelters across Germany over the past two years

Following an influx of refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan in 2015, the number of xenophobic attacks in Germany rose drastically. Although asylum-seeker arrivals have significantly fallen since then, the rate of attacks remained high.

The latest government data reported on Tuesday, however, shows that the frequency of attacks is now starting to drop.

Police logged 93 attacks on refugee centers in the first three months of this year, the German newspaper "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung" reported on Tuesday, citing an Interior Ministry response to a query from the Left party.

The figure is now on par with the first quarter of 2015, before the arrival of asylum-seekers spiked in late summer. From January to March of that year, 106 attacks on shelters were recorded.

In 2015 alone, more than 1,000 attacks took place, while just under a thousand attacks on refugees occurred in 2016, the newspaper reported.

Attacks on the refugee centers include arson, explosives attacks and bodily harm. So far this year, police recorded 318 assaults on refugees. A total of 47 people were injured in the assaults, including two children, according to the report.

Infografik Karte Flüchtlingsfeindliche Vorfälle 2016 EN neu

Left cautions against complacency

The attacks are still overwhelmingly inspired by right-wing extremism. Out of the 93 attacks on refugee shelters that occurred in the first quarter of this year, 86 of them had an extremist right-wing background, the ministry said.

Although the number of attacks is on the decline, Left MP Ulla Jelpke said there was no reason to become complacent.

"Violence and everyday terror against refugees appears as though it is becoming normalized in Germany," she told the newspaper.

"We should not allow ourselves to get accustomed to the fact that refugees in the country are victims of neo-Nazi or racist attacks day in and day out."

rs/rt (dpa, epd, KNA)

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