Excerpt:

German leaders expressed shock over dozens of apparently coordinated sexual assaults against women on New Year's Eve in the western city of Cologne blamed on "Arab-looking men," but warned against anti-migrant scapegoating.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a thorough investigation of the "repugnant" attacks, ranging from groping to at least one reported rape, allegedly committed in a large crowd of revellers during year-end festivities outside the city's main train station and its famed Gothic cathedral.

Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said she had called Cologne's mayor, Henriette Reker, to express her "outrage" over the violence, which she said required "a tough response from the state".


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