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German folk festival tarnished by sexual assaults, shot fired

During a folk festival in Schorndorf (Baden-Württemberg), in Germany up to a thousand people gathered on Saturday night. There were sexual assaults and even the police got into trouble.

Published: July 18, 2017, 10:14 am

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    Already on Friday evening police had reported three cases of sexual harassment. In one case, a suspect from Iraq was identified. On Saturday, a 17-year-old girl was groped by three migrant men. Three asylum seekers from Afghanistan are suspected. In addition, several bodily injuries were reported during the festival.

    In the early hours of Sunday, it became dangerous for the police, as up to a thousand people gathered in the castle grounds and started rioting. “A large part of them were people with an immigration background,” the police wrote in their report.

    Law enforcers and emergency services had bottles thrown at them, and the facade of the Schorndorfer Schloss was also affected. When a man was arrested for dangerous bodily injury, he resisted while many tried to intervene to stop the arrest. Policemen in protective equipment had to shield the arrest.

    During the course of the night, tensions remained. As the police reported, groups of up to 50 people were moving through the city center. Individuals were said to be armed with knives, according to witnesses, and apparently a gun was fired. The police demanded reinforcements from the surrounding areas to curb the violence.

    The Friedrich Ebert School in Esslingen near Stuttgart, meanwhile was evacuated after a man “with a dark complexion and a beard” was seen with what looked like a gun. Esslingen is only 30 minutes away from Schorndorf.

    He is believed to have fled the scene on a motor bike, according to police, but has reportedly been arrested.

    A police spokesman said: “Students had reported seeing an unknown person who was said to have been carrying a weapon. This person is said to have been on school grounds for a brief period before leaving again.

    “The school is still being searched for security reasons. The students are remaining inside the classrooms until the end of the measures.”

    Police spokesman Bjoern Reusch said the suspect didn’t use his weapon and nobody was hurt when he briefly showed up inside the school building.

    They searched the secondary school but found nothing suspicious and asked students to assemble outside the building until they could be picked up by their parents, a police spokesman told DPA news agency.

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