A German man is alleged to have given a Nazi salute before assaulting a 15-year-old Afghan refugee in a violent racist attack. The 31-year-old was arrested on suspicion of racially-motivated assault following an incident on a train which had just departed Saxony in Germany.

The suspect boarded a train at the station near to the border with the Czech Republic before the teenage victim got on at the next stop, accompanied by two Syrians. According to eyewitnesses, the German started to yell abuse at the three teenagers before giving them a Nazi salute and punching the 15-year-old boy in the face.

The three boys got off the train at a stop near the town of Plauen, but the suspect followed them. The man then allegedly attacked the victim again, including repeatedly kicking him in the head while he lay on the floor, reported The Local in Germany.

The teenager needed hospital treatment as a result of the attack, but police did not reveal the extent of his injuries.

The 31-year-old, who had been drinking heavily, was later arrested on suspicion of serious assault and a crime with a racist motive.

Hate crimes, classified in Germany as politically-motivated crimes, reached a record high in 2016. The figures coincide with the country taking in a record number of refugees and asylum seekers from countries such as Syria since 2015.

According to the Interior Ministry, there were nearly 10 attacks on migrants and refugees every day in Germany in 2016, including attacks on children. Figures revealed 3,533 attacks on migrants and asylum hostels in 2016, as well as 2,545 attacks on individuals. At total of 560 people have been injured in such attacks, including 43 children

German police
German police arrested the man on suspicion of racially motivated assault. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch