Four hurt as man targeting foreigners drives into crowd in Germany

Four injured as mentally ill man targeting foreigners drives into crowd in Germany

  • Driver attempted and failed to hit a group of people in Bottrop close to midnight
  • He hen slammed car into a crowd with those hit including Syrians and Afghans
  • Man, 50, fled to Essen, where he tried and failed to hit more people before arrest
  • Police say attack ‘possibly motivated by the anti-foreigner views of the driver’ 

Four people have been injured after a mentally ill man drove into a crowd of people in Germany – in what appears to have been an attack targeting foreigners.

The 50-year-old driver of a silver Mercedes first attempted to hit a group of people in the western city of Bottrop shortly after midnight, but the pedestrians were able to jump out of the way, police said. 

The man, who has not been named, then drove into the center of Bottrop where he slammed into a crowd. Those hit by the car included Syrian and Afghan citizens, and some were seriously injured. 

He then sped off toward the nearby city of Essen, where he tried and failed to hit people waiting at a bus stop before being arrested by police on suspicion of attempted homicide.

Four people have been injured after a mentally ill man drove into a crowd of people in Germany – in what appears to have been an attack targeting foreigners. Pictured: Police on the scene today

The 50-year-old driver of a silver Mercedes first attempted to hit a group of people in the western city of Bottrop shortly after midnight, but the pedestrians were able to jump out of the way, police said. Police taped off the scene today

Authorities said the driver made anti-foreigner comments during his arrest.

‘Investigating authorities are currently working on the assumption that this was a targeted attack, possibly motivated by the anti-foreigner views of the driver,’ police said, adding that there were indications the suspect suffered from mental illness.

Angela Luettmann, a spokeswoman for Muenster police, couldn’t immediately confirm whether the driver was German but said he came from Essen.


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In April, a German man drove a van into a crowd in Muenster, killing four people and injuring dozens. 

The driver, who had sought psychological help in the weeks preceding the attack, then killed himself.

On December 19, 2016, a Tunisian man ploughed a truck into a busy Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people. 

The attack was later claimed by ISIS. The driver, who fled the scene, was later killed in a shootout with police in Italy. 

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