Refugees angry over skimpy Ramadan meals set shelter on fire, police say

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A pair of North African refugees who on Tuesday set a German shelter on fire reportedly did so because they were angry the special Ramadan meals there weren't up to snuff.

Investigators told the BBC that the men -- who were not fasting at the shelter in Duesseldorf -- had complained their lunch portions were too small. The fire burned the facility to the ground, causing $11 million in damages.

"We had to do it so that things would change,” one of the two 26-year-old North African suspects told reporters. Police charged them with arson.

Refugees also fought over meal times. Some wanted food service only when it was dark, in accordance with Muslim law, while others wanted to eat during the day, prosecutor Ralf Herrenbrueck said.

Muslims and Christians were living at the shelter. Police told Reuters many of the residents had given false names, birthdays or countries of origin when they entered the facility.

The city is currently housing some 7,000 refugees and migrants, Germany's DPA news agency reported.

Red Cross workers who spoke to German media said the mood at the shelter was already poor during Ramadan, as refugees spat at staffers and hurled shoes at them.

Rescuers brought everyone in the shelter to safety during the fire. Some suffered from smoke inhalation, the BBC reported.