The Latest: Group attacks migrant bus in eastern Germany

AP News
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Posted: Dec 11, 2015 10:06 AM
The Latest: Group attacks migrant bus in eastern Germany

BERLIN (AP) — The latest on the influx of people into Europe. All times local:

2:55 p.m.

Police say a group of people has attacked a bus carrying migrants to accommodation in eastern Germany.

Police said the incident happened on Thursday evening in Jahnsdorf near the city of Chemnitz, news agency dpa reported.

They said that between three and six people that were part of a bigger crowd threw stones and set off firecrackers as the bus carrying asylum seekers arrived at a refugee center. The driver's foot was hurt by a firecracker and one window on the bus was broken.

Police spokeswoman Kathleen Doetsch says that the migrants didn't want to go to the refugee center after the attack and were taken elsewhere.

While Germans have generally been welcoming, there have been regular arson attacks, assaults and other crimes against refugee shelters this year.

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2:55 p.m.

A top European human rights official has dismissed any link between extremism and the thousands of people fleeing violence in Syria and elsewhere, noting that those who have perpetrated recent terrorist attacks in Europe were citizens of European countries.

Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muiznieks told the AP in an interview Friday that the primary risk lies with foreign fighters returning from Syria and other war zones, saying they should be "monitored very, very closely."

Muiznieks said all European countries must shoulder the responsibility of receiving migrants and asylum-seekers and that Europe can absorb many more.

He said Europe must initiate refugee resettlement procedures at refugee camps in countries neighboring Syria to prevent them from making the often-hazardous trek to the continent.

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2 p.m.

Germany's vice chancellor is stressing his opposition to the idea of setting a specific limit to the number of refugees the country can take in, which some conservatives advocate.

Sigmar Gabriel told a conference of his center-left Social Democrats Friday he opposes such a limit because it would be impossible to stick to it, but said he is still in favor of reducing the number of refugees.

Germany has seen around a million migrants arrive since January. Some in Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc, which runs Germany in a coalition with Gabriel's party, want a limit set to the number of refugees Germany can absorb.

Merkel opposes the idea for similar reasons to Gabriel. A motion prepared by her party's leadership for a congress starting Monday doesn't mention limits.

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11:30 a.m.

Germany has seen around a million of them arrive since January, and now "refugees" is the country's word of the year.

The Society for German Language said Friday the word "Fluechtlinge" — the word generally used in German to refer to all the migrants who have made risky boat crossing to Europe and trekked across the Balkans — stands for "the dominant issue of the year."

The runner-up was "Je suis Charlie," the expression of solidarity coined after the January attack against the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. "Grexit," a Greek exit from the euro, was third.

Another migrant-related phrase was 10th in the society's list of words of 2015: "Wir schaffen das," or "we will manage it." That has been Chancellor Angela Merkel's optimistic mantra in the refugee crisis.