News ID: 110877
Publish Date : 02 January 2023 - 21:46

BERLIN (Dispatches) -- Germany vowed to crack down on people responsible for violence around the weekend’s New Year celebrations, in which police, paramedics and firefighters were targeted with fireworks and dozens were injured.
“The government, and of course the chancellor as well, condemns these at times massive attacks in the strongest possible terms,” Christiane Hoffmann, a spokeswoman for Chancellor Olaf Scholz, said Monday at the regular government news conference in Berlin.
“The state will not tolerate that people who are celebrating peacefully and personnel who are doing their duty are attacked in this way,” she added.
In Berlin alone, around 1,300 extra police were deployed and more than 100 people were detained for arson offenses, violations of explosives regulations, breach of the peace and assault of law-enforcement officers. Eighteen policemen were injured in the capital, one seriously, and 15 firefighters and paramedics required treatment.
“Attacking police officers, paramedics and firefighters must be punished to the full extent of the law,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a tweet. “The people who protect us all must be able to fully trust that the rule of law will also protect them,” she said, adding that she was left “stunned and angry” by the attacks.
German authorities have repeatedly highlighted the growing menace of violent extremism at both ends of the political spectrum, warning of a threat to the nation’s democratic order.
Last month, police carried out the biggest-ever raid targeting right-wing extremists, saying the nationwide operation thwarted a domestic terrorist group’s plans to violently overthrow the government.
In one incident in Berlin in the early hours of Sunday morning, about 200 masked assailants attacked firefighters attempting to extinguish burning garbage cans blocking the road, according to a statement from the city fire brigade.
Members of the public were also subjected to attacks, with police describing an incident in which a bus and people on the street were targeted with fireworks.
Laws to protect police and rescue services have been tightened in recent years and the New Year’s incidents show “how necessary that was,” Faeser said. “Now this legislation must be applied and enforced as thoroughly as possible against extremists and violent criminals.”

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