Bomb attacker was denied asylum - Bavarian official

2016-07-25 12:09
Special police officers secure a street near the house where a Syrian man lived before the explosion in Ansbach, southern Germany. (Matthias Schrader, AP)

Special police officers secure a street near the house where a Syrian man lived before the explosion in Ansbach, southern Germany. (Matthias Schrader, AP)

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Ansbach – A man who blew himself up and injured 12 people after being turned away from an open-air music festival was a 27-year-old Syrian who had been denied asylum, Bavaria's top security official said early on Monday.

"We don't know if this man planned on suicide or if he had the intention of killing others," Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann said.

He added that the man's request for asylum was rejected a year ago, but he was allowed to remain in Germany on account of the situation in Syria.

Three of the 12 victims suffered serious injuries, Herrmann said.

A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office in Ansbach said the attacker's motive wasn't clear.

"If there is an Islamist link or not is purely speculation at this point," said the spokesperson, Michael Schrotberger.

The explosion in the southern German state came just two days after a man went on a deadly rampage at a Munich mall, killing nine people, and after an axe attack on a train near Wuerzburg last Monday wounded five.

Authorities said they were alerted to an explosion in the city's centre shortly after 22:00 on Sunday.

The open-air concert with about 2 500 in attendance was shut down as a precaution after the explosion.

Germany, and Bavaria in particular, have been on edge following the attacks in Munich and on the train, which in turn came shortly after a Tunisian man in a truck killed 84 people when he ploughed through a festive crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, on the French Riviera.

Bavarian public broadcaster Bayerische Rundfunk reported that about 200 police officers and 350 rescue personnel were brought in following the explosion in Ansbach.

Read more on:    germany  |  security
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