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Asylum centre attackers 'not extremists'

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Asylum centre attackers 'not extremists'
The Bürglkopf asylum centre. Photo: APA (EXPA)
12:20 CET+01:00
Police confirmed Monday that they have identified and interviewed four suspects -- aged 17, 18, 19 and 21 -- who allegedly carried out an attack on a hostel for asylum seekers in Tyrol on Wednesday.

According to police, the attack was not due to right-wing extremism or xenophobia, but instead was motivated by a suspected theft of a mobile phone by one of the asylum seekers living in the centre.

Witnesses claim that five youths had been heard shouting xenophobic slogans at around half past midnight, 35 metres away from the remote property close to Fieberbrunn in the Kitzbühel region.

They then shot a gun in the air and reportedly threw fireworks at the centre’s windows.

The youths were dressed in black hooded jackets and shouted things like “foreigners out” and “we’re going to kill you, pigs”, according to an anonymous witness quoted in profil magazine. 

The Bürglkopf centre is on a mountain at an altitude of 1,400 metres and was transformed from countryside accommodation into a federal care institution this year.

Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner told journalists on Friday that it was absolutely wrong to subject people who have fled war and persecution to fear and terror.

She warned that certain people were trying to throw “jihadists and asylum seekers in the same pot”, when the refugees had fled jihadists themselves.

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