Horst Seehofer | Photo: Getty Images/S.Gallup
Horst Seehofer | Photo: Getty Images/S.Gallup

An attack by a group of asylum-seekers on passers-by in a Bavarian town has prompted Germany's interior minister to renew his longstanding call for stricter deportation laws. Amberg's mayor has called for caution.

Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said asylum-seekers who commit violent crimes must leave the country, after a group of apparently drunken teenagers attacked a dozen people in the Bavarian town of Amberg.

"If existing laws are not sufficient, they must be changed," Seehofer told Wednesday's edition of Germany's Bild newspaper. "The events in Amberg are very troubling. This is excessive violence which we cannot tolerate."

Seehofer — the leader of Bavaria's Christian Social Union (CSU) party, the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats — said that he would make suggestions to the federal government. Seehofer had already made similar proposals in mid-December for the beginning of this year.

Police said four suspects aged 17-19 — who were asylum-seekers from Syria, Afghanistan and Iran — suddenly harrassed and beat passers-by on Saturday evening while under the influence of alcohol. Twelve people were injured, though the injuries were mostly minor.

The accused are currently being held in pre-trial detention on charges of causing dangerous bodily harm.

'Deep disdain for our nation'

Rainer Wendt, the head of Germany's police union, called on the federal government to make a statement with this case.

"The federal government must take a stand on this case," Wendt told Bild.

He also criticized authorities for saying the motive of the four suspects was unknown. "I'll tell you the motive," he told Bild. "It is deep disdain for our nation and the people who live among us."

After the attacks, Amberg Mayor Michael Cerny, who belongs to the same political party as Seehofer, wrote on Facebook that the incident should not be generalized and that the "idiots" had "done a disservice to the peaceful and committed asylum-seekers."

dv/se (dpa, KNA, Reuters)

First published: January 2, 2019

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