(ABCNEWS.GO) — Most of the suspects identified in connection with a series of robberies and sexual assaults in Cologne during New Year's celebrations are refugees, prosecutors said Monday.
The crimes, described as unprecedented by authorities, sparked uproar in Germany and a heated debate about the country's ability to integrate almost 1.1 million people who sought asylum there last year.
Cologne prosecutor Ulrich Bremer said 73 suspects have been identified so far — most of them from North Africa. A total of 1,075 criminal complaints have been filed, including 467 alleging crimes of a sexual nature ranging from insults to rape.
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"The overwhelming majority of persons fall into the general category of refugees," Bremer told The Associated Press, saying recent reports describing only three of the suspects as refugees were "total nonsense."