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Attacks On Police, Sexual Assaults Reported At German Festival

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Police have increased their presence at a festival in southern Germany after teenagers terrorized the opening weekend with attacks on civilians and police.

Police said Monday that individuals from a group of 1,000 teenagers — largely made up of people with an immigrant background —  started throwing beer bottles at the walls and civilians attending the festival in Schorndorf.

Four incidents of sexual assault were reported during the first two nights of the festival. One Iraqi man was questioned and three Afghan asylum seekers were detained in connection to the incidents, Deutsche Welle reports. Police chief Roland Eisele urged other women to come forward if they suffered sexual violence during the chaos.

Police officers were attacked after they tried to arrest a suspect on suspicion of causing serious bodily harm. Police in riot gear were called in “to shield the arrest and to prevent an attack.” Police said the situation had “massive potential for violence.”

“The violence faced by police was shocking,” a police spokesman said Monday, according to AFP.

Eyewitness reported seeing people armed with knives and one man reportedly fired a shot from a blank-firing gun. Three police cars were damaged during the riots.

Eisele called “the aggression and escalation of violence” unprecedented for the town of around 40,000 people. He empathized that it was nowhere near as violent as the mass sexual assaults reported in Cologne on New Year’s Eve in 2015 or during the riots at the G20 summit in Hamburg earlier this month.

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