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As Germany Reels from String of Attacks, Caution Urged Against Discrimination

  • VOA News

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, left, and Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann, right, give a media conference in front of the Olympia shopping center where a shooting took place leaving nine people dead the day before in Munich, Germany, Saturday, July 23, 2016.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, left, and Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann, right, give a media conference in front of the Olympia shopping center where a shooting took place leaving nine people dead the day before in Munich, Germany, Saturday, July 23, 2016.

As Germany struggles with a string of bloody attacks in the last week, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere cautioned against indiscriminately labeling all refugees a security threat.

"We must not place refugees under general suspicion despite individual cases that are under investigation," he said in an interview with Funke Media Group.

The interior minister's remarks came after four recent attacks in southern Germany, the most recent of which occurred on July 24 at an open-air music festival in the city of Ansbach. An unsuccessful Syrian asylum seeker detonated an explosive device near the festival, killing himself and wounding twelve others.

Watch video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke:

Another attack on July 24 in the city of Reutlingen claimed the life of a Polish woman. A 21-year-old Syrian refugee was arrested after stabbing the woman to death with a large kebab knife at a snack bar. Police say the killing was probably a crime of passion and not a terrorist attack.

Three people were also hurt when the attacker was deliberately hit by a car to end the attack.

Police evacuates people from the shopping mall in Munich on July 22, 2016 following a shootings earlier.

Police evacuates people from the shopping mall in Munich on July 22, 2016 following a shootings earlier.

On July 22, David Ali Sonboly fatally shot nine people in a Munich shopping mall. Police said the 18-year-old German-Iranian, who also killed himself, was "obsessed with mass killers like Norwegian right-wing militant Anders Behring Breivik. Authorities say Sonboly spent a year planning the mass shooting and had no links to the Islamic State.

Four members of a tourist family from Hong Kong and a German passenger were seriously injured on July 18 by a 17-year-old migrant wielding an axe and a knife on a regional train in southern Germany. The attacker, believed to be Afghan or Pakistani, was shot dead has he tried to flee the scene.

The Islamic State released a video after the train attack, purportedly showing the assailant, named Riaz Khan Ahmadzai, saying he would execute an "operation" in Germany and describing himself as a "soldier of the caliphate."

Interior Minister de Maiziere said 59 investigations of refugees are underway for possible links to terrorist groups.

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