New Year violence cases up to 516: Cologne police

AFP , Sunday 10 Jan 2016

A police vehicle patrols at the main square and in front of the central railway station in Cologne, Germany, January 5, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

Police said Sunday the number of cases filed over violence during New Year festivities in Cologne had reached 516, including 40 percent relating to sexual assault.

Nineteen suspects were under investigation, police said, adding that a 19-year-old Moroccan man had been arrested on suspicion of theft.

The caseload marks a sharp rise from the 379 figure given by police on Saturday.

Police had said that asylum seekers and illegal migrants from North Africa make up the majority of suspects.

The allegations have stoked criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel's liberal open-door policy -- which brought 1.1 million asylum seekers to German last year.

Short link: