Germany's infectious disease institute targeted in arson attempt, police say

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Several assailants attacked Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases with incendiary devices overnight, causing mild damage to the building, police said on Sunday.

Security guards at the institute, which advises the government on public health measures to stem the coronavirus pandemic, witnessed the attackers throw bottle-based incendiary devices at the building.

One window was broken by the arsonists who have not been caught, according to a statement from the police. Nobody was hurt.

While Germany has not been hit as hard by COVID-19 as most other European nations, daily infections in the country are again surging and surpassed 10,000 for the first time this week. The total number of deaths exceeded 10,000 on Saturday.

A large majority of Germans have supported restrictions on gatherings and travel imposed by federal and regional state governments but thousands have also gathered to protest the countermeasures in cities including Berlin and Constance.

The marches have attracted a mixed crowd of civil rights activists and people who oppose vaccinations, as well as far-right groups.

Berlin police will investigate whether the attack was politically motivated, the statement said.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger