German minister says arsonists of refugee facilities are "cowardly and repulsive"
A fire was intentionally set in the eastern German municipality of Tröglitz in the early morning hours of 4 April at a planned residential hotel facility for refugees. No one was physically injured.
Police from Saxony-Anhalt reported the incident but did not say what the possible motive of the perpetrator or perpetrators might have been. The German media have nevertheless reported that recent events could have been the trigger.
The residential hotel, planned for 40 refugees, is supposed to open in May, but right-wing extremists have been protesting the presence of asylum-seekers in Tröglitz for several weeks. Their indiscriminate attacks have even forced Mayor Markus Nierth to resign.
German newspaper Die Welt reported that a police spokesperson said the fire caught at approximately 2 AM. The flames completely destroyed the roof and the top floor.
The entire building is now uninhabitable. Preliminary estimates of the damage are in the hundreds of thousands of euro.
Prosecutor Jörg Wilkmann said he believes the fire is an example of the very serious felony of arson for which "a political motivation cannot be ruled out". German Federal Justice Minister Heiko Maas thoroughly condemned those who set the fires: "Whoever sets refugee facilities on fire is cowardly and repulsive," he told the Sunday national paper Welt am Sonntag.
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