German Justice Minister Says Acts Against Refugees `Abominable'

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas has condemned as “abominable” and “disgusting” cheers that greeted the burning of a building designated to become a refugee home and after a group of yelling people blocked a bus carrying asylum seekers to a hostel.

Mass’s comments on his Twitter feed were prompted by crowds who cheered as flames ripped through an under-construction shelter in Bautzen, in Saxony, on Sunday. That came after mobs shouted “we are the people” and “go home” as terrified asylum seekers were brought to a home in the state’s Clausnitz town on Thursday,  an incident that gained widespread attention when film of it was posted on the Internet

Police said the cause of the fire is still uncertain and that officers recorded the personal details of several onlookers who “massively hindered” the work of fire fighters. Two 20-year olds were detained and no one was injured in the fire.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has struggled to forge a joint European Union response to the region’s migrant crisis that saw more than 1 million asylum seekers arrive in Germany last year. Incidents including a spate of sexual assaults during New Year celebrations in cities such as Cologne have fanned anti-immigrant sentiment in Germany. Criminal offenses against refugee shelters in Germany rose fourfold last year, according to the German Federal Criminal Police Office.

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