Excerpt:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday rebuffed calls to reverse her welcoming stance toward refugees after a series of brutal attacks in the country.

Merkel, who interrupted her summer holiday to face the media in Berlin, said the four assaults within a week were "shocking, oppressive and depressing" but not a sign that authorities had lost control.

The German leader said the assailants "wanted to undermine our sense of community, our openness and our willingness to help people in need".

"We firmly reject this," she said at a wide-ranging news conference.


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