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Top German official: Cologne offenders must be punished regardless of origin

Following a massive attack by 1000 men on New Year’s Eve, the mayor of Cologne caused controversy by saying that young women could prevent future attacks by abiding by a “code of conduct”.

The blonde – named only as Michelle – was one of 90 women sexually assaulted and raped as up to 1,000 men went on the rampage in the centre of Cologne, Germany.

Meanwhile a British woman who was visiting Cologne, and involved in the attacks, described the scenes. There have been reports as well that the same incidents also occurred in Stuttgart and Humburg, though the numbers were fewer. She said: “When we came out of the station, we were very surprised by the group that met us there”, before confirming that the group was “exclusively young foreign men”. Attackers ripped the clothes of some; others reported some of the men tried to hug and kiss them.

The chancellor also called for everything to be done “to find the perpetrators as quickly and comprehensively as possible and to punish them without regard to their origin or background”, it said. Authorities called it a “completely new dimension of crime”.

“We don’t now have any suspects, so we don’t know who the perpetrators were”.

She said: “It is supposed to take place in four weeks and I really hope that the police have got the situation under control by then”.

Cologne police announced they had made three arrests this morning in relation to the attacks, but just an hour later withdrew their statement saying it had been in error, and in fact they only had “suspects” at this time.

In any case, “anyone who commits serious crimes, whatever status he is in, must reckon with being deported from Germany”, de Maiziere said.

“On the one hand there’s a feeling that what happened is wrong and many people concerned about this”.

The South African mother of two – a former model turned death-defying combat reporter – said she was almost scalped as well as stripped, beaten and assaulted by dozens of men. “I think it’s important to keep the focus on the women who were affected”.

The number of criminal complaints in Cologne topped 100 by Wednesday.

But she disagreed with those who blamed the latest wave of refugees for the assaults.

Breitbart London reported on Monday of the story of Katja L, the first woman to come forward to tell her story and precipitate the media attention that has finally reached the attacks, which remained buried for days after the event.

“I didn’t even know that they were beating me with flagpoles and sticks and things”, she said.

But when asked what steps women could take to protect themselves, Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker said: “There’s always the possibility of keeping a certain distance of more than an arm’s length – that is to say to make sure yourself you don’t look to be too close to people who are not known to you, and to whom you don’t have a trusting relationship”.

Reker said Wednesday that she regretted any misunderstanding, but had merely been pointing to existing prevention and counseling programs in response to a journalist’s question.

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