Nearly all suspects in Cologne New Year's Eve violence 'of foreign origin': State minister

A woman protests against sexual violence in front of the central railway station in Cologne on Jan 10, 2016.
A woman protests against sexual violence in front of the central railway station in Cologne on Jan 10, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

DUESSELDORF, Germany (REUTERS) - People of foreign descent were responsible for virtually all of the violence on New Year's Eve in Cologne, a German state interior minister said on Monday (Jan 11), adding that this included migrants that arrived in Germany over the past year.

"Based on testimony from witnesses, the report from the Cologne police and descriptions by the federal police, it looks as if people with a migration background were almost exclusively responsible for the criminal acts," Ralf Jaeger, interior minister from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia told a special commission on the Cologne violence.

"All signs point to these being north Africans and people from the Arab world," he added. "Based on what we know now from the investigation, asylum seekers who arrived in the past year are among the suspects."