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Man with 'anti-foreigner' views arrested after driving car into crowd in Germany

The attack – which injured four – took place in the western city of Bottrop with police saying it was likely a targeted attack motivated by the anti-foreigner views of the driver.
Jan 1st 2019, 2:43 PM 42,758 45

A MAN HAS been arrested in Germany after ploughing his car into a crowd of people early today, injuring at least four in what appears to have been an intentional attack directed at foreigners, police have said.

The 50-year-old driver of a silver Mercedes first attempted to hit a group of people in the western city of Bottrop shortly after midnight, but the pedestrians were able to jump out of the way, Muenster police said.

The man, who wasn’t named, then drove into the centre of Bottrop where he slammed into a crowd. Police said those hit by the car included Syrian and Afghan citizens, and some were seriously injured.

The driver then sped off toward the nearby city of Essen, where he tried and failed to hit people waiting at a bus stop before being arrested by police on suspicion of attempted homicide.

Authorities said the driver made anti-foreigner comments during his arrest.

“Investigating authorities are currently working on the assumption that this was a targeted attack, possibly motivated by the anti-foreigner views of the driver,” police said, adding that there were indications the suspect suffered from mental illness.

Angela Luettmann, a spokeswoman for Muenster police, couldn’t immediately confirm whether the driver was German but said he came from Essen.

In April, a German man drove a van into a crowd in Muenster, killing four people and injuring dozens. The driver, who had sought psychological help in the weeks preceding the attack, then killed himself.

On 19 December 2016, a Tunisian man ploughed a truck into a busy Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people. The attack was later claimed by the Islamic State group. The driver, who fled the scene, was later killed in a shootout with police in Italy.

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Associated Press

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