Berlin - A 27-year-old Syrian man died Sunday when he set off a bomb outside a crowded music festival in Bavaria.
Berlin – A 27-year-old Syrian man died Sunday when he set off a bomb outside a crowded music festival in Bavaria.
Police said 12 people were wounded, including three seriously, in the attack in Ansbach, a small town of 40,000 people southwest of Nuremberg that is also home to a US army base.
The incident will fuel growing public unease surrounding Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy, under which more than a million migrants have entered Germany over the past year, many fleeing wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.
“It’s terrible … that someone who came into our country to seek shelter has now committed such a heinous act and injured a large number of people who are at home here, some seriously,” Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told reporters at a hastily convened news conference this morning.
Herrmann said it was unclear if the man, who arrived in Germany two years ago and attempted suicide twice before, had planned to kill only himself or “take others with him into death”.
It was the fourth violent incident in Germany in a week, including the killing of nine people by an 18-year-old Iranian-German gunman in Munich on Friday. Although his application for asylum had been denied, he was not in danger of being deported immediately given the civil war in Syria.
He said he could not exclude the possibility of an Islamist-inspired attack, noting the man’s backpack was filled with explosives and metal parts that would have been sufficient to kill more people.
He said investigators would work tirelessly to investigate the attack and fully understand the man’s motives.
More than 2,000 people were evacuated from the festival after the explosion, police said.
A large area around the blast site remained blocked off hours later.
Earlier yesterday, a 21-year-old Syrian refugee was arrested after killing a pregnant woman and wounding two people with a machete in the southwestern city of Reutlingen, near Stuttgart.
A refugee from Pakistan wielding an axe wounded five people near Wuerzbuerg, also in southern Germany, before he was shot dead by police a week ago. Police said neither yesterday’s machete attack nor Friday’s shooting in Munich bore any sign of connections with the so-called Islamic State or other militant groups.