World News

Germany charges Syrian with stabbing that sparked Chemnitz riots

BERLIN (Reuters) - A Syrian man has been charged by German prosecutors with second degree murder over the stabbing of a Cuban-German citizen last year that set off the worst far-right riots in decades.

Prosecutors said on Tuesday the suspect, identified only as Alaa S. under Germany’s privacy laws, stabbed the man during a quarrel in the eastern city of Chemnitz.

The killing in August touched off violent clashes between neo-Nazis and police as well as demonstrations by far-right groups opposed to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to welcome almost 1 million asylum seekers.

The violence highlighted the depth of a divide created by Merkel’s decision to let in the migrants, mostly Muslims from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

German authorities have also issued an international arrest warrant for an Iraqi suspect, identified as Farhad R.A, who is on the run after going into hiding after the incident in Chemnitz.

He is also suspected of stabbing the Cuban-German victim.

Prosecutors said on Tuesday they would soon make a decision on their case against a third suspect in the killing, an Iraqi who was freed on bail by a court in September, pending further inquiries.

Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Alison Williams