BERLIN (AFP) - Germany's interior minister on Saturday made a plea against linking the terror attacks in Paris to the record influx of asylum seekers into Europe.
"I would like to make this urgent plea to avoid drawing such swift links to the situation surrounding refugees," Thomas de Maiziere said, noting that there have already been "appalling scales of attacks against asylum seekers and asylum seeker shelters".
Besides beefing up police presence and border controls, the minister said after a crisis Cabinet meeting that security forces will also keep a close watch on far-right extremists.
Germany is expecting up to one million asylum seekers this year, but the influx has also exposed faultlines in the country, with a spate of arson attacks on refugee shelters.
Bavaria's premier Horst Seehofer, who has been among the fiercest critics of Chancellor Angela Merkel's open door policy to refugees, on Saturday reiterated a call for reinforced controls at Europe's external borders as well as at each European country's national border.