Aug. 19 - Overnight arson attacks in Berlin surge reaching almost 50 this week but motives remain a puzzle. Nick Rowlands reports.
Yet another car set on fire by arsonists in Berlin. The German capital has been shocked by a series of arson attacks over the past week. Around 50 cars have been set ablaze, mainly in middle-class residential areas in the west of the city, but also here at a used car dealership in the east. Police have filled a warehouse with gutted vehicles, but are so far unable to determine any motive. (SOUNDBITE) (German) BERLIN POLICE SPOKESPERSON, THOMAS NEUENDORF, SAYING: "We haven't been able to recognise a political reason for these attacks. They are happening in residential areas, it's middle-class cars which are being attacked. We just don't know what the culprits want." German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, says the vandals are putting people's lives at risk. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "I am worried to see that cars have been set on fire by vandals for example in Berlin. And what kind of behaviour is it, setting fire to prams in flat stairwells. People's lives are being put at risk. Moreover there is also a lack of respect and a tendency towards violence against police officers and that's why we need to support the security forces publicly and this is something the German government is calling for." Berlin residents are at a loss to understand reasons for the attacks. (SOUNDBITE) (German) BERLIN RESIDENT, JUSTUS VERENHALVEN, SAYING: "Unfortunately, it is pointless and destructive which I find very sad." With no clear motive behind the attacks, and the culprits still at large, other residents are scared that they too will become victims. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.