German driver charged, remanded for anti-migrant attack

Berlin: A 50-year-old German man accused of driving a car into groups of foreigners on New Year’s Eve has been formally remanded in custody for attempted murder, police said Wednesday.

Eight people, including two children, were wounded in an assault that police described as a “targeted attack motivated by the driver’s hostility to foreigners”.

The German man is accused of accelerating his car at groups of revellers in Bottrop and Essen, two cities in the west of Germany. He was arrested the same night.

The car hit several people in Bottrop, injuring a four-year-old Afghan boy and his mother, 29, as well as a 10-year-old Syrian girl, said police in a statement.

A Syrian woman, 46, who was also severely hurt in the incident, was declared out of danger after undergoing surgery.

The region’s interior minister, Herbert Reul, said the accused “had the clear intention to kill foreigners”.

The man was not formerly known to police.

According to Spiegel Online, he has been treated for schizophrenia in the past.

The unemployed man reportedly told police that “the high number of foreigners is a problem for Germany that he wants to solve,” said Spiegel.