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At least 26 women report sexual assaults at German music festival

Updated: 2016-06-01 09:39

BERLIN - As many as 26 women have reported sexual assaults at a music festival in the western German city of Darmstadt, German media reported on Tuesday.

At the end of the four-day music festival that hosted a crowd of 400,000 visitors, three women were the first to inform the police late Saturday night they had been touched inappropriately by several men, local media Spiegel Online reported.

Similar to the New Year's Eve assaults in Cologne earlier in the year, the victims, mostly young women, were each surrounded and harassed by small groups of men.

According to a press release from the Darmstadt police, the women believed the perpetrators to be "from the South Asian region." The suspects are alleged to have approached the young women and touched their "intimate areas" without consent.

Shortly after the complaints were lodged, the officers arrested three suspects, aged 28 to 31, who were later released.

A police spokesman was quoted as saying there were no grounds for detention.

According to the police, they were from Pakistan, and at least two were asylum seekers.

The German police will start an investigation into sexual assault and sexual harassment.

On New Year's Eve, a group of around 1,000 men surrounded, harassed, and robbed mostly women in the western German city of Cologne. According to eyewitnesses and victims, the perpetrators were from Arabic or North African regions.

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