German soldier assaulted in Berlin in possible hate crime

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Berlin police say a 25-year-old soldier with Turkish roots was assaulted in the capital by two men saying he didn’t have the right to wear a German military uniform.

Police spokesman Martin Halweg said the soldier, whose rank is the equivalent of a private first class, was walking in the Neukoelln district Monday morning when two men punched and kicked him from behind, saying “only Germans are permitted to wear the uniform.”

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He says the soldier has both Turkish and German citizenships and has a Turkish last name, which was withheld for privacy reasons, that was displayed on his uniform. He was treated in a hospital for a leg injury.

The suspects fled the scene and details about them are being withheld as police investigate.