Riot in German refugee shelter after man tears up pages of the Quran

Refugees collecting pages of the Quran after it was torn by an Afghan man

An argument over a man tearing up pages of the Quran in central Germany has led to 11 refugees and six police officer being injured.

Twenty people tried to lynch a 25-year-old Afghan man after he tore pages from the Quran and threw them in a toilet, according to reports in the town of Suhl.

When police tried to intervene they also came under attack.

Wednesday night’s violence took place at an overcrowded refugee shelter where more than 1,800 people were being housed. The house was meant to hold only 1,200 – an indication of the difficulties faced by Germany’s authorities.

Police were pelted with stones and concrete blocks as they tried to calm the situation.

The migration minister in the central state of Thuringia, Dieter Lauinger, told reporters that the violence had nothing to do with overcrowding at the shelter.

State prime minister Bodo Ramelow, from leftist party Die Linke, suggested that part of the problem was housing different nationalities together.

He said he understood that emotions ran high when different groups came into contact with each other, but there was no excuse at all for “anyone tearing up a Quran and throwing it in the toilet”.

The Afghan man at the centre of the riot was reportedly being protected at a police station. His religion was not disclosed.

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