A Syrian man has killed himself and injured 12 others after a ‘deliberate explosion’ outside a music festival in the German town of Ansbach.
Authorities said the 27-year-old, who had been denied asylum in Germany a year ago, blew himself up with a backpack bomb near the festival, Sky News reports.
Joachim Herrmann, Bavaria’s interior minister, said the failed asylum seeker had detonated the device after being refused entry to the music festival at around 10:10pm local time last night.
It is not clear whether the explosion was intended as a suicide bombing or whether the man intended to plant it and harm others.
Herrmann added that the suspected bomber’s backpack was filled with explosives and had the potential to kill and injure many more victims. More than 2,000 people had been in the festival crowd.
The blast occurred outside the Eugens Weinstube bar in the centre of the town, which has a population of 40,000 and is home to a U.S. military base.
About 2,500 people were evacuated from the venue after the explosion, the BBC reports.
A large-scale operation involving 200 police and 350 rescue workers was launched, and a helicopter brought in after the attack.
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) July 25, 2016
A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Ansbach said the attacker’s motive was not clear.
Spokesman Michael Schrotberger said:
If there is an Islamist link or not is purely speculation at this point.
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.
— CNN (@CNN) July 25, 2016
Germany has been on high alert following a series of incidents in recent days.
On Sunday, a Syrian refugee wielding a machete killed a woman and injured two other people in the city of Reutlingen.
On Friday, nine people were killed in a shooting in a shopping centre in Munich, which was carried out by an 18-year-old who later turned the gun on himself.
Security services have sealed off the city centre while experts establish the kind of explosives the bomber used.