Europe

Austria registers spike in far right extremist crime

Austria's interior ministry says xenophobic and racist crimes committed by far right sympathizers have spiked by more than 50 percent in a year, with Muslims, Jews and other minorities the main targets.

A ministry report presented Monday said 1,156 such crimes were registered for 2015, compared with 750 for 2014, an increase of around 54 percent.

The report also says that 259 persons had either traveled to Syria or Iraq by 2015 to fight on the side of Islamic extremists or had the intention of doing so before being stopped by authorities. It says 75 fighters returned to Austria by last year and 43 are believed to have been killed in the region.

The report says crimes committed by left-wing extremists dropped last year to 186 from 371 in 2014.