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Cops: German Man Drove Into Crowds 'to Kill Foreigners'

At least 5 were injured in NYE attacks
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 2, 2019 12:03 AM CST
Police block a road in Bottrop, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019.   (Marcel Kusch/dpa via AP)

(Newser) – A German man has been arrested after repeatedly driving into crowds of people, injuring at least five, in what authorities say appeared to have been intentional attacks against foreigners. Four people were injured early Tuesday in the western German city of Bottrop and one person was injured in nearby Essen, while pedestrians managed to jump out of his path in two other attempted attacks in those cities, police said. "The man had the clear intention to kill foreigners," German news agency dpa quoted the top security official in North Rhine-Westphalia state, Herbert Reul, as saying. The victims included a 46-year-old woman, who suffered life-threatening injuries, and a child. Some of the victims were Syrian and Afghan citizens.

The attacks began shortly after midnight while people were celebrating New Year's out on the streets, the AP reports. The 50-year-old driver first attempted to hit a group of people in Bottrop, but failed. He then drove into the city center, where he slammed his silver Mercedes into a crowd, injuring four. He then drove toward Essen, where he twice attempted to run people down, injuring one person, before being arrested by police. The man, whose name wasn't released, is being held on suspicion of attempted homicide. Police said the suspect made anti-foreigner comments during his arrest and there were indications he had been treated for mental illness in the past.

(Read more Germany stories.)

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