German driver charged, remanded for anti-migrant attack

BERLIN (AFP) – A 50-year-old German man accused of driving a car into groups of foreigners on New Year’s Eve was formally remanded in custody for attempted murder, police said yesterday.

Eight people, including two children, were wounded in an assault that police described as a “targetted attack motivated by the driver’s hostility to foreigners”.

The German man is accused of accelerating his car at groups of revellers in Bottrop and Essen, two cities in the west of Germany. He was arrested the same night.

The car hit several people in Bottrop, injuring a four-year-old Afghan boy and his mother, 29, as well as a 10-year-old Syrian girl, said police in a statement.

A Syrian woman, 46, who was also severely hurt in the incident, was declared out of danger after undergoing surgery.

The region’s Interior Minister, Herbert Reul, said the accused “had the clear intention to kill foreigners”.

Picture taken on Tuesday shows a bus stop in Essen, western Germany, where a man in a car intentionally hit a woman during the New Year’s Eve. – AFP