Packs of vigilantes conducted what appear to be revenge attacks on foreign nationals in Cologne, Germany — the same location where refugees and migrants reportedly sexually assaulted hundreds of women New Year’s Eve.
Cologne police said 20 men attacked at least six Pakistani nationals Sunday near the city center where the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults and robberies took place, reported CNN. About 20 minutes after the attack, an apparently separate group of five men assaulted a man of Syrian descent.
The Syrian man was injured, and two of the Pakistani nationals were hospitalized. The attackers allegedly beat the Pakistani men and verbally abused them. Police are looking to press charges as the group of men committed “serious bodily harm.”
More than 500 people filed criminal complaints over the sexual assaults, rapes and robberies that took place in the city center on New Year’s Eve, reported The Daily Mail. Cologne police have admitted the focus of their investigation is on refugees and migrants of North African and Arab descent who look to be “almost exclusively responsible” for the New Year’s Eve violence.
Police have not confirmed the motive of Sunday’s pack-style attacks, but they appear to have been carried out in an attempt to get revenge for the New Year’s Eve assaults. Vigilante groups linked up on Facebook, according to the Cologne Express newspaper, promising an “orderly clean up” in the course of a planned “manhunt.”
Police quickly identified scores of the New Year’s Eve attackers as Syrian refugees, according to internal communications from police in the wake of the attacks, which were published by a German newspaper. Police, however, did not announce this publicly, and Police Chief Wolfgang Albers allegedly covered-up the information because it was “politically awkward.”
Police have detained two of the alleged vigilante attackers.
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