Four injured as man rams car into New Year revelers in Germany
A man injured four people in Germany after driving into a group celebrating the new year, in what police described on Tuesday as an anti-migrant attack.
"The authorities think that this is a targeted attack, motivated by the driver's hostility to foreigners," said the Essen prosecutors office and Muenster police. They also said they thought the 50-year-old suspect has mental health issues.
The man "clearly intended to kill foreigners," said North Rhine-Westphalia state interior minister Herbert Reul.
The incident took place a little after midnight in the town of Bottrop, about 12 kilometers north of Essen in Germany's west.
The driver first tried to run over a person, but they managed to get out of the way. He then drove into a group setting off fireworks in the street.
Four people were injured, some of them seriously, said police, adding that they were of Afghan and Syrian origin. The interior ministry said a woman was among the seriously wounded.
A little later, the driver attempted another attack in a town close to Essen, without managing to injure anyone.
He made "remarks hostile to foreigners" while being arrested by police, officials said.