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More than 3,500 attacks on refugees in Germany in 2016: report

New figures show there were nearly ten attacks on refugees and refugee accommodation every day in Germany in 2016. The country's opposition says the government is not doing enough against right-wing violence.

There were 3,533 attacks on refugees and refugee hostels across Germany last year, the Funke Media Group reported on Sunday.

The attacks left 560 people injured, among them 43 children, according to an Interior Ministry response to a parliamentary question cited by the media group.

Out of the attacks, almost three quarters targeted refugees outside of their accommodations. Another 988 attacks were carried out on refugee housing, a slight drop from 2015.

In addition, 217 refugee organizations and volunteers were attacked.

The figures are only preliminary and may be adjusted later.

It comes as Germany grapples with processing a backlog of asylum requests amid heightened concern over security in the wake of a string of terror attacks across Europe. The government has responded by toughening asylum procedures and implementing a raft of security measures ahead of federal elections in September, in which refugees are a top issue.

But often lost in the debate over security are right-wing attacks on refugees. Opposition Left Party spokesperson Ulla Jelpke told the media group the numbers show there are nearly ten attacks on asylum seekers a day.

"Must there first be deaths before right-wing violence is classified as a central internal security problem and put at the top of the domestic policy agenda?" she questioned.

She demanded that "at least the government stop giving the impression through new tougher asylum laws that refugees are a threat." Instead, she commented, "Nazis are threatening refugees and therefore our democracy."

cw/jr (AFP, KNA)

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