German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe was vulnerable amid a massive refugee influx following public anger over the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults carried out by migrants in Germany’s Cologne.
According to media reports, groups of unknown gunmen attacked and injured several migrants in the center of Cologne on Sunday, following news of the New Year’s Eve attacks on women.
“All of a sudden we are facing the challenge that refugees are coming to Europe and we are vulnerable, as we see, because we do not yet have the order, the control that we would like to have,” Merkel said late on Monday, as quoted by The Telegraph newspaper.
On New Year’s Eve, hundreds of women in several German cities, including Cologne and Hamburg, were robbed, threatened and sexually assaulted by small groups of aggressive men, allegedly of Arab and North African appearance.
Germany’s Interior Minister of North-Rhine Westphalia Ralf Jaeger said on Monday that the attackers were “almost exclusively” carried out by immigrant males. Ten of the 19 suspects already identified by local police are registered in the country as asylum seekers.