Syrian refugee ‘started fire and sprayed swastikas to get better hotel room’

A Syrian refugee has admitted starting a fire at an asylum centre and spraying swastikas on the walls because he wanted the authorities to move him to a better location.

The blaze destroyed parts of the hotel, which is being used to process refugees in the town of Bingen am Rhein in south-west Germany.

Billed as a ‘racist attack’, the fire caused outrage in Germany, and was widely reported in local media with demands that those responsible be tracked down and punished.

The swastikas had been sprayed on the wall above an entrance to the cellar of the building.

The 26-year-old Syrian man reportedly said he was fed up with the cramped living conditions in the hotel which was also shared with seasonal workers.

He had been living there for six months when he started the fire and allegedly tried to frame right wing groups for the attack.

Some 26 people were inside the hotel when the fire broke out. Four guests and two firefighters suffered from smoke inhalation.

The blaze was started on the 7th April, and detectives quickly eliminated a genuine outsider threat.

Other guests in the hotel reportedly identified the refugee and police arrested him.

The Syrian later told police he acted alone.

He is being held in investigative custody on charges of aggravated arson.

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