"It is inconceivable that people are targeting asylum seekers with hand grenades"
Germany’s Justice Minister has pledged to take steps to crack down on offences against migrants.
It comes after an unidentified attacker threw a hand grenade at an asylum seeker’s home in the south-west town of Villingen-Schwenningen..
“The degree of violence against refugee homes is frightening, if now hand grenades are being thrown into buildings in the middle of Germany.”
“This has to be investigated, the perpetrators must be severely punished. We do not want to see dead people as a result of such acts.”
“The federal criminal authority announced that there were more than a thousand acts against refugees and their homes, this is frightening.” said Heiko Maas.
The police have formed a special task force to search for whoever threw the grenade towards the house at 1:15 am.
The device had been primed with explosives but it is not clear whether a detonator had been attached.
Forensics experts are investigating.
The device did not explode and nobody was injured in the early morning attack against the home for asylum-seekers in the town of Villingen-Schwenningen.
“It was just luck” said regional police spokesman Thomas Kalmbach.
Germany took in nearly 1.1 million asylum-seekers last year and there have been multiple attacks on residences, although most have been unoccupied.
The number has increased six-fold from 28 in 2014 to 173 in 2015.
Arson attacks have also risen from six in 2014 to 92 in 2015.
However, Maas said the grenade attack marks a new level of “hate and violence”.
He is summoning his state counterparts to coordinate local and federal measures to prevent and prosecute anti-immigrant crimes.
“Using a military weapon against refugees marks a new development.”- German Judicial Police spokesperson.
“It is inconceivable that people are targeting asylum seekers with hand grenades, which are military weapons.”*State governor Winfried Kretschmann*
“We need to do everything we can to ensure xenophobic crimes are more rapidly solved and punished more severely.” – German Justice Minister Heiko Maas.