German car attack suspect ordered kept in detention

The Berliner Platz square in Bottrop, western Germany, where a man in a car intentionally hit a group of people during the New Year’s Eve. (Roland Weihrauch /dpa/AFP/File)
Updated 02 January 2019
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German car attack suspect ordered kept in detention

  • The attacks began shortly after midnight on Jan.1, first in Bottrop in western Germany
  • The victims included a 46-year-old Syrian woman who suffered life-threatening injuries

BERLIN: A German man who repeatedly drove into crowds and injured eight people in apparent intentional attacks against foreigners has been ordered kept in detention pending possible charges, police said Wednesday.
The attacks began shortly after midnight on Jan.1, first in Bottrop in western Germany and later in the nearby city of Essen. The 50-year-old suspect, who comes from Essen, is believed to have no previous police record.
The victims included a 46-year-old Syrian woman who suffered life-threatening injuries.
Police said a judge on Tuesday night ordered the suspect held in detention while the investigation on suspicion of attempted murder continues.
They say the suspect made anti-foreigner comments during his arrest and there were indications he had been treated for mental illness in the past.
The attacks came after four teenagers from Afghanistan, Syria and Iran were arrested on suspicion of bodily harm following assaults on passers-by near the railway station in the southeastern town of Amberg on Saturday. The four were apparently intoxicated and 12 people were hurt, in most cases slightly.
There was no indication of any link between the events, other than that both underlined tensions in Germany over migration.
German government spokeswoman Martina Fietz said Wednesday the government had learned “with dismay” of both the assaults and the attacks.
“There is no place in Germany for extremism, xenophobia and intolerance, no matter what side it comes from,” she told reporters.
The Amberg incident prompted Interior Minister Horst Seehofer to tell the Bild daily that “if asylum-seekers carry out violent crimes, they must leave our country.” He said, if necessary, laws should be changed to make that possible.


Pakistan summons top Indian diplomat and rejects New Delhi’s allegations

Updated 10 min 31 sec ago
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Pakistan summons top Indian diplomat and rejects New Delhi’s allegations

  • India accuses Pakistan of links to attack that killed 45 soldiers 
  • Pakistan dissed the Indian allegation as 'uncalled for and baseless'

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner, at the Foreign Office and rejected the “baseless allegations” made by India, the Foreign Ministry said.

Earlier, Pakistan dissed the Indian aggression against Pakistan after the deadly Pulwana Attack as “uncalled for and baseless.”

Malik Muhammad Ehsan Ullah, Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, told Arab News on Friday that “Pakistan has been supporting the just cause of Kashmir, highlighting Indian atrocities against innocent Kashmiris and will continue doing so.”

Despite Pakistan expressing "grave concern" over the terror attack and condemning it, India announced today to withdraw the Most Favored Nation (MNF) status previously granted to Pakistan. The decision came after a cabinet meeting was held today during which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was briefed about the attack on Indian security forces in Pulwama.

 In the World Trade Organization (WTO), this status means non-discrimination — treating virtually everyone equally, said Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during a press briefing, adding that "the MFN status that had been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn."

“The [Indian] Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will initiate all possible steps – and I’m referring to [...] diplomatic steps – which have to be taken to ensure the complete isolation from the international community of Pakistan,” Jaitley said on Friday, adding that there is “incontrovertible evidence” of Pakistan “having a direct hand in this gruesome terrorist incident.”

The Indian premier on Friday also warned Pakistan of a "strong action" after a high-level cabinet meeting on security was held in New Delhi.   

When asked if revoking the MFN status will in any way affect Pakistan, Ehsan Ullah said, “India’s MFN status to Pakistan was nothing more than a piece of paper, so its withdrawal doesn’t make any difference.”

At least 44 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed on Thursday in Pulwama when an explosive laden vehicle rammed into a bus carrying Indian paramilitary forces on a highway in Indian administered Kashmir on Thursday.

 Militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility of the deadly attack.

Following Thursday night’s attack, Islamabad strongly rejected any insinuation that sought to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations. “We have always condemned heightened acts of violence in the Valley,” the Foreign Office said in its press statement issued late Thursday.

“We strongly reject any insinuation by elements in the Indian media and government that seek to link the attack to Pakistan without investigations,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said.