25 Jul 2016

Failed asylum seeker blows himself up in Germany

A Syrian denied asylum in Germany kills himself and injures 12 others in a suicide bombing – the fourth violent attack in the country in less than a week.

The 27-year-old man set off his device outside a music festival in Ansbach, Bavaria on Sunday after being refused entry. Three people were seriously injured, with 2,500 others evacuated from the festival after the bombing.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said he believed the attack was an Islamist suicide bombing.

The attacker arrived in Germany two years ago, was refused asylum in 2015 and was due to be deported to Bulgaria rather than Syria, because of the civil war raging in his homeland.

He had been receiving treatment after trying to kill himself and had been in trouble with the police for drug taking and other offences.

The fact he was an asylum seeker will fuel further debate about Germany’s open-door refugee policy.

Earlier this month, Mrs Merkel said terrorists had managed to enter Europe during the migrant crisis, which saw more than a million migrants and refugees, many of them Syrians and Iraqis, arrive in Germany in 2015.

‘Security concerns’

Mr Herrmann said: “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.”

He said the bomb was packed with “many metal parts that could have killed and injured many more people”.

Germany has been rocked by violent attacks in the last week. On Sunday, a 21-year-old Syrian asylum seeker was arrested in Reutlingen, Baden-Wuerttemberg after allegedly killing a pregnant Polish woman with a machete. Police said it was probably a “crime of passion”.

Two days earlier, a German teenager of Iranian descent shot dead nine people, seven of them teenagers, at a shopping centre in Munich. David Ali Sonboly had a history of mental illness and there is no evidence of political motivation.

This followed another attack in which a 17-year-old asylum seeker armed with an axe injured five people on a train in Bavaria. He was shot dead after the attack, which was claimed by the so-called Islamic State group.

Police said neither Sunday’s machete attack nor Friday’s shootings in Munich had any connections to Islamic State or other militant groups.