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Berlin Celebration Of Multiculturalism Turns Into Rapey Cologne Repeat

REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

The celebration of Berlin’s annual Carnival of Culture was overshadowed by similar incidents to what took place in Cologne on New Year’s Eve.

Police initially said there had been two victims of sexual assault when the festival concluded Monday. Police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf announced the number had grown to eight victims Tuesday, as more women have come forward.

“All the women described the perpetrators as young men with a Mediterranean appearance,” Neuendorf said, adding that some women were “significantly battered” had been crying while getting sexually assaulted. (RELATED: NYE Sex Assault Scandal Grows To Three Other Countries, More German Cities)

The men circled the women when they were dancing during concerts and touched their “intimate parts,” according to police. None of the women suffered any physical injuries.

Police have detained three Turkish suspects and a 14-year-old German with “foreign roots,” according to Berliner Zeitung. Seven arrest warrants have been issued against other suspects. Neuendorf emphasized that none of the suspects are recent refugees to Germany.

The festival has been celebrated since 1996 in the Kreuzberg neighborhood of Berlin. It was set up in response to the “nationalism and racism that grew” in the 1990s. The festival takes place over four days and has more than one million annual visitors.

More than 500 women reported getting sexually assaulted during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cologne. The incident sparked a debate over Germany’s open-border policies for migrants, as the vast majority of suspects were refugees.

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