Cars burning in Berlin

Europe News Briefs

The number of car burnings in Berlin increased dramatically in August, with targets broadening from expensive cars like Mercedes, BMWs and Audis to seemingly random targets that included small and medium-sized family and service vehicles.

Since the beginning of the year, at least 138 cars have been torched, more than doubling the figure for all of 2010.

The pattern of the attacks, hitherto focused on eastern Berlin, has now shifted West, affecting affluent neighbourhoods such as Charlottenburg, according to Bloomberg News.

Speaking to The Financial Times, Berlin’s mayor, Klaus Wowereit, claimed that the spike in arson had “nothing in common” with the recent unrest in England, pointing instead to a  “colourful mixture” of culprits, including vandals, pyromaniacs and insurance fraudsters.

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