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Cologne, Germany: Hundreds of sexual assault charges from New Year’s Eve

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(CNN)The number of criminal charges from New Year’s Eve attacks in the Cologne, Germany, has risen to 516 — 40% of which relate to sexual assaults, police said.

The spate of sexual assaults and muggings prompted protests in Cologne over the weekend that at times turned violent.

    Many of the protesters were angry at police response to the attacks as well as the influx of migrants and refugees into Europe.

    “Where were you on New Year’s Eve?” one protester yelled at police. “Why didn’t you protect those women?”

    Right-wing groups threw beer bottles, firecrackers and stones at officers in riot gear. Cologne police responded with tear gas and water cannons.

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    Police are looking for 10 to 15 more suspects who allegedly encircled a group of women in Kalmar and groped them, Bruun told CNN.

    In all, 16 females from ages 17 to 21 said they were molested, he said.

    In Salzburg, an Austrian city on the German border, two men have been charged with sexually assaulting women on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, police said in a statement.

    A 23-year-old Syrian citizen was arrested in the city’s Old Town section on New Year’s Eve after sending fireworks in the direction of a 17-year-old student, police said. She was slightly injured in her abdomen. Further investigation revealed the suspect allegedly had sexually abused a 20-year-old from Bayern in the inner city before the fireworks incident, police said.

    And in Zurich, Switzerland, six women told authorities they were “robbed from one side, (while) being groped … on the other side” by groups of men, Zurich police said Friday.

    And in Helsinki, Finland, police said they are investigating two possible criminal offenses related to New Year’s Eve harassment centered around “a gathering of asylum-seekers.”

    Both the Zurich and Helsinki allegations became public well after the incidents took place.

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