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German petrol station worker 'punched and kicked' after face mask row

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By Euronews  with AP
A sign on the town hall square points out that masks are mandatory in Memminhgen.
A sign on the town hall square points out that masks are mandatory in Memminhgen.   -   Copyright  Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa via AP

A petrol station worker in Germany has been assaulted by a man who refused to wear a mask, police said.

The attendant was punched and kicked by a customer after an argument at the petrol station near the city of Bremen.

Police said in a statement that a verbal argument broke out when the 21-year-old customer walked into the shop in Gröpelingen without a mask to pay for petrol.

The customer then returned wearing a mask, punched the 67-year-old employee attendant, and then kicked him "several times" as he lay on the ground.

The 21-year-old man drove away but returned to the scene shortly afterwards and handed himself to the police. He remains under investigation for dangerous bodily harm, damage to property, and theft.

The petrol station worker was taken to a hospital for outpatient treatment, the authorities added.

The incident comes one month after a petrol station worker was fatally shot in western Germany by a man who refused to wear a mask.

German citizens must wear facemasks in most shops under current COVID-19 restrictions.

There have been regular protests, some violent, against Germany's pandemic restrictions over the past year, partly driven by the loose-knit Querdenken movement of conspiracy theorists and some far-right extremists.