Dutch minister quits over asylum seeker crime statistics

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Dutch junior justice minister has quit after his department came under fire for appearing to minimize statistics about criminality among asylum seekers.

The ministry was criticized for categorizing hundreds of cases reporting serious offenses including attempted murder and sexual assaults under the heading "others."

The revelations last week and accusations of a cover-up led to a swift internal investigation at the justice ministry.

Anti-immigration lawmaker Geert Wilders accused the ministry of "sweeping under the carpet" allegations of serious crimes among the thousands of asylum seekers in the Netherlands.

Junior minister Mark Harbers resigned Tuesday, saying he was taking political responsibility for an error of judgment by his ministry.

Wilders said the resignation was "the only correct conclusion."

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