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'Deliberate' Explosion In Ansbach, Germany, Kills Syrian Refugee Carrying Device And Injures 12

Incident involving 'deliberate' explosion near music festival comes amid tension after Munich shooting

25/07/2016 8:39 AM AEST | Updated July 25, 2016 16:50

A Syrian refused asylum injured 12 people and killed himself when an explosive he was carrying in a backpack went off near a music festival in southern Germany, officials believe.

After the regional Bavarian Government said it assumed the incident in the city of Ansbach, near Nuremberg, was a “deliberate explosion”, Joachim Hermann, the Bavarian interior minister, told a press conference the suspect was a 27-year-old asylum seeker who had been denied the right to stay in Germany.

He had been in the country for two years, and was denied asylum a year ago, but allowed to stay in Germany because of the “situation in Syria”.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
A police officer examines a backpack at the scene of the explosion

Hermann said: “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.

“It’s a further, horrific attack that will increase the already growing security concerns of our citizens.

“We must do everything possible to prevent the spread of such violence in our country by people who came here to ask for asylum.”

The man blew himself up after being denied entrance to the music festival, he added. The backpack included metal used in “wood manufacturing”.

Three of those hurt are seriously injured.

Hermann told journalists the man had tried to commit suicide twice before, though his intended aim - to kill just himself or others too - was unclear. According to the AP newswire, he said:

“We don’t know if this man planned on suicide or if he had the intention of killing others.”

Michaela Rehle / Reuters
Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann addresses a news conference after an explosion in Ansbach

The authorities also said there was no knowledge of a possible link to terrorism.

More than 2,000 people had been evacuated from a nearby music festival, called the Ansbach Open, as a result.

Here is footage of the event, centred round an old square, posted on Facebook by organisers.

The incident comes amid heightened tension in Germany following Friday’s mall shooting in Munich that saw nine people killed and a Syrian refugee killing a pregnant woman with a machete in Reutlingen.

Last week, German police shot dead a 17-year-old Afghan refugee after wielding an axe and a knife that injured at least four people on a train in Bavaria.

Michaela Rehle / Reuters
Police secure the downtown area after an explosion in Ansbach

More than one million refugees have been given a home in Germany, which has been at the forefront of efforts to deal with the refugee crisis engulfing Europe in the last year.

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