Munich train attack spotlights youth violence in Germany

1st January 2008, Comments 0 comments

German police were seeking three youths who attacked train passengers in Munich in a case that is expected to further inflame a political controversy over juvenile delinquency.

1 January 2008

Munich (dpa) - German police were Tuesday seeking three youths who attacked train passengers in Munich in a case that is expected to further inflame a political controversy over juvenile delinquency.

Two male passengers, both 45, asked the boys to turn down loud MP3 players inside the mass-transit train on Sunday. One youth immediately jumped up and punched one of the complainants in the face.

The trio chased the two men when they alighted, knocking one to the ground and kicking him, and throwing a brickbat at the other's head. The assailants' race was not known.

Police did not disclose the case till Tuesday. The victims suffered bruises, abrasions and cuts.

After a similar attack two weeks ago on a retired Munich man who had asked youths to obey a smoking ban in an underground station, right-of-centre German politicians called for non-German attackers to be deported, and demanded boot camps for delinquents.

The suspects in the pre-Christmas attack in the Munich train system, who face attempted-murder charges, are a 17-year-old Greek national and a 20-year-old Turkish national.

Police are also holding three youths who bashed two adults in a Munich station last week.

Violence by youths, many of them descended from "gastarbeiter" migrants who settled in Germany in the 1960s, has triggered a debate about ethnic crime.

Roland Koch, premier of the state of Hesse, said last week there were "too many criminal foreigners" in Germany.

Guenther Beckstein, premier of Bavaria state, echoed that in a newspaper interview, saying, "We have to apply tougher punishments to the younger ones, and use every opportunity for deportation.

"If integration does not succeed, that is often the only thing left to do."

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