Attacks on refugee homes double in Austria

EPA/SEBASTIAN WIDMANN

German and Austrian police pose with their badges during a press conference to announce an agreement for a permanent police cooperation center in Passau, Germany, on 28 March 2017.

Attacks on refugee homes double in Austria


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Attacks on refugee accommodation have doubled in Austria, according to data revealed by the interior ministry.

The data was presented at the request of Albert Steinhauser, an opposition Green party politician, who said he was dismayed to find out that more than three quarters of the 49 recorded cases remain unsolved.

“The most important thing is for the interior ministry to take these incidents seriously and make every necessary effort to investigate,” he told the Austria Press Agency.

As reported by The Independent, among the incidents reported was a firebombing that saw two Molotov cocktails launched at a refugee home in Himberg, Lower Austria, in November.

It was one of several reported arsons, including a fire in Rohrbach, Upper Austria, in June, which damaged one accommodation centre so badly it had to be evacuated and rebuilt.

Police said refugees were put at severe risk in August when assailants broke into a storage unit and cut a gas supply hose “to cause a leak” that went unnoticed for more than a week.

Most incidents involved vandalism, including the smashing of windows and spraying of racist and Nazi graffiti, including swastikas, the phrase “Heil Hitler” and SS runes.

Activists believe many more incidents may have occurred in 2016 than the 49 officially recorded, compared to 25 in 2015.

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