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German police spray anti-migrant protesters, Merkel toughens tone

Saturday, January 09, 2016 - 01:24

Police in the western city of Cologne fire water canon to disperse anti-Islam protesters angry over reports of mass assaults by foreigners on New Year's Eve, as Chancellor Merkel calls for tough action for victims of the attacks. Diane Hodges reports.

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Right-wing demonstrators clash with German police on the streets of Cologne. Some 1,700 members of the anti-Islam movement, PEGIDA, were protesting what they say is the Islamization of the west, and calling for an end to the waves of migrants from the Middle East flooding into the country. The group has seized on reports that scores of migrants were involved in mass assaults on women here over New Year's Eve. That's when over 120 women say they were robbed, threatened or assaulted by gangs of mainly foreign men near the city's train station and cathedral. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who's refused to place a limit on the numbers of migrants coming in, toughened her tone on Saturday, saying migrants who commit crimes should lose their right to asylum. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "What happened on New Year's Eve were despicable criminal acts which call for decisive answers. This is about women who were victims of sexual attacks. Our thoughts are with them. And now of course we have to face these new tasks and challenges." One of those challenges will be finding a middle ground between those who want to help migrants desperate to find safety and a secure income, and those who want to keep some immigrants out.

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German police spray anti-migrant protesters, Merkel toughens tone

Saturday, January 09, 2016 - 01:24