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Borussia Dortmund Blasts: Suspect 'from Islamist Spectrum' Detained

Europe | April 12, 2017, Wednesday @ 16:54| 60 views

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German authorities investigating explosions beside a bus carrying the Borussia Dortmund football team say they have detained a suspect with what prosecutors described as links to “the Islamist spectrum”, The Guardian reported.

The explosives used in the attack were pipe bombs with a 100 metre range, said Frauke Koehle, a spokeswoman for Germany’s federal state prosecutor in Karlsruhe. A metal part from the one of the bombs had lodged in the headrest of one of the seats. “The consequences could have been far worse,” she said.

“Two suspects from the Islamist spectrum have become the focus of our investigation,” Koehle said. “Both of their apartments were searched, and one of the two has been detained.”

One Dortmund player, 26-year old defender Marc Bartra from Spain, was hit by fragments from broken glass and was operated on for a broken wrist. A police officer accompanying the bus in a convoy of police motorbikes was also injured.

A spokesman for the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said she had been appalled by the attack on Tuesday evening, which forced the postponement of Dortmund’s Champions League quarter-file match with AS Monaco.

Koehler said three letters had been found near the scene of the attack, all of which suggested a possible radical Islamic motive. According to Koehler, the letters referred to reconnaissance planes deployed by Germany as part of the military campaign against Islamic State in Syria, and also called for the closure of the US military base at Ramstein in western Germany.

She also referred to an online claim of responsibility by an anti-fascist group, but said there was serious doubt about its validity.

Federal prosecutors, who typically handle especially serious cases, including those in which a terrorist motive is suspected, took over the investigation on Wednesday morning. Ralf Jaeger, interior minister in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which includes Dortmund, said the investigation was looking “in all directions”.

The incident occurred at about 7.15pm (1815 BST) in Dortmund’s Höchstem district, approximately six miles (10km) from the club’s stadium, where they were due to play against Monaco.

Police confirmed there were three explosions near the bus, breaking some of the vehicle’s windows. The defender Marc Bartra was injured by shards of glass and was taken to hospital. He underwent surgery last night on his injured arm to repair a fracture and remove shrapnel, from which he was said to be recovering well.


Tags: Borussia Dortmund, blast, explosion, Germany

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