Germany saw a sharp rise in attacks on foreigners in 2013, as well as more violence by and between left- and right-wing radicals, a government report said on Wednesday.

The number of violent attacks on people because of their foreign identity rose 20.4 percent to 473 cases, according to the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution which produced the annual crime overview.

“It worries me greatly that the right-wing scene constantly tries to poison the atmosphere towards foreigners, by stoking fears and prejudices against asylum seekers,” interior minister Thomas de Maizière said in Berlin as he presented the findings. “We will employ all means of this constitutional state to stop those who perpetrate violence.”

The number of right-wing extremists considered to be ready to use violence remained constant at around 9,600 people.

Left-wing groups also showed a rapidly growing tendency towards violence, despite a slight drop in their estimated numbers to around 27,000 people. The number of those committing violent acts last year increased by more than a quarter to 1,110 instances.

Police and security officials took the brunt of the left-wing violence (43.2 percent of cases) and right-wing extremists (39.8 percent), the report said.

source: thelocal