Germany: Ansbach bar bomber was a Syrian denied asylum
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Germany: Ansbach bar bomber was a Syrian denied asylum

Officials have not ruled out Islamist motive, says Bavaria’s top security official after third attack in a week

In this image taken from video, fire trucks and ambulances stand in the city center of Ansbach near Nuremberg, southern Germany, Monday morning, July 25, 2016, after a man was killed when an explosive device he was believed to be carrying went off near an open-air music festival, injuring 12 others. (News5 via AP)
In this image taken from video, fire trucks and ambulances stand in the city center of Ansbach near Nuremberg, southern Germany, Monday morning, July 25, 2016, after a man was killed when an explosive device he was believed to be carrying went off near an open-air music festival, injuring 12 others. (News5 via AP)

Bavaria’s top security official says a man who blew himself up after being turned away from an open-air music festival in the southern German city of Ansbach was a 27-year-old Syrian who had been denied asylum.

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

Herrmann said the attacker had tried to kill himself twice in the past and had spent time in a psychiatric clinic.

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. The man arrived in Germany in 2014.

Authorities have “not ruled out” an Islamist motive, he added.

Initial evidence gathered at the scene pointed toward a terror attack.

Ansbach deputy police chief Roman Fertinger said there were “indications” that pieces of metal had been added to the explosive device.

The bomber may have targeted the nearby pop music festival, officials said — until security guards at the festival’s entrance turned him away because he did not have a ticket.

The explosion took place at Eugen’s Weinstube, or Eugene’s Wine Bar, in the city’s old town, at approximately 10:12 p.m. local time.

The three-day open-air music festival had just opened in the area. The festival was canceled soon after the bombing, authorities said, and some 2,500 festival-goers were sent home by police.

Twelve people were injured in the blast. Three of the wounded were said to be in serious condition.

Germany, as well as nearby France, have seen a series of bloody attacks in recent days, including a truck rampage earlier this month in Nice that left 85 dead, a shooting in Munich on Friday that killed nine and a machete attack on Sunday by a Syrian refugee in the southwest German city of Reutlingen that left one dead and injured two others.

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