Berlin's top security official is condemning incidents in which young women were sexually harassed by groups of men at a street festival in the city.

Police say a 17-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman were surrounded by a group of around 10 men at the Carnival of Cultures event Saturday. Police arrived shortly afterward and briefly detained three teenage boys who were part of the group.

In addition, a 16-year-old girl reported being harassed in similar fashion on Friday, though a witness turned away the would-be assailants. State interior minister Frank Henkel Tuesday described the incidents as "abhorrent and criminal."

Larger-scale assaults in Cologne on New Year's Eve, blamed largely on North Africans, stoked tensions over Germany's recent migrant influx.