German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a press conference in Berlin on July 28, 2016.(AFP Photo)
Chancellor Angela Merkel defends her country’s open-arms policy toward refugees following a spate of brutal attacks in Germany
, some reportedly carried out by newly-arrived asylum seekers.
“The terrorists want to make us lose sight of what is important to us, break down our cohesion …., our openness and our willingness to take in people who are in need,” she told reporters in Berlin on Thursday.
Some members of Merkel’s conservative political bloc have followed the suit of opposition parties criticizing the chancellor for the country taking a large number of refugees.
The German leader, however, expressed her deep commitment to a “sense of community” and dismissed calls by her opponents to reverse the country’s welcoming stance toward refugees.
“We stand firmly against that,” she said.
“Despite the great unease these events inspire, fear can’t be the guide for political decisions,” she explained.
Merkel, then, called for a stricter “warning system to alert authorities” of potential terrorists during refugees’ “asylum process or integration measures”.
The remarks were made following reported brutal attacks by refugees who had arrived in Germany as asylum-seekers.
Police work at a site where a Syrian refugee set off an explosive device in Ansbach, southern Germany, on July 25, 2016 killing himself and wounding a dozen others. (AFP Photo)
On July 24, an attacker reported to be a Syrian refugee detonated a bomb near a music festival in the southern town of Ansbach, killing himself and injuring a dozen others.
On the same day, another alleged Syrian refugee attacked several people with a long knife in a town near Stuttgart, killing one person and injuring two others.
On July 18, an alleged Afghan refugee injured at least four people with an ax on a train in Bavaria.
In January 2016, official statistics showed that Germany had received 476,649 new refugees.