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Pepper Spray Attack At German Refugee Shelter Injures 40 Including Children

Refugee shelter

Eight children were among forty people who were injured in Germany after a man pepper-sprayed asylum seekers at a refugee shelter.

The incident happened on Tuesday evening inside a former hospital in the town of Massow, which had recently been converted into refugee housing.

A 28-year-old male suspect, who, according to witnesses, was overpowered and locked in an empty room has now been arrested by police.

RT reports: The refugees, who were examined by authorities, were found to have irritation of the respiratory tract and eyes. Two adults and eight children were taken to hospital following the Tuesday night incident.

Police said on Wednesday that the 28-year-old suspect from Sachsen was intoxicated, registering a blood alcohol level of .25 percent. He also tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine, and was already known to police for his drug use, RBB reported.

The suspect – who was employed at a building firm working at the site of the refugee shelter – was staying at a hotel in the same complex, and therefore had access to the secured area, according to police.

Germany has witnessed numerous attacks on refugees over the past several weeks, including arson attacks on shelters. The country’s far right has also staged numerous anti-immigrant protests.

Referring to anti-immigrant clashes, which left 31 officers injured earlier this month, Chancellor Angela Merkel said the incident was “shameful and repulsive.”

Merkel has also said there is “no tolerance” for those who are “not willing to help where legal and human help is required.”

The German chancellor was booed as she made her way to a refugee center in the town of Heidenau last week, with demonstrators holding signs calling her a traitor.

Numerous pro-refugee rallies have been held throughout Germany in response to anti-immigrant demonstrations.

Germany expects to receive up to 800,000 asylum applications in 2015 – more than the entire EU combined in 2014.