Police: Bavarian Official Says Attacker Was Denied Asylum

ANSBACH, Germany (AP) — A man who blew himself up and injured 12 people after being turned away from an open-air music festival was a 27-year-old Syrian who had been denied asylum, Bavaria’s top security official said early Monday.

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

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.

Three of the 12 victims suffered serious injuries, Herrmann said.

A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Ansbach said the attacker’s motive wasn’t clear.

“If there is an Islamist link or not is purely speculation at this point,” said the spokesman, Michael Schrotberger.

The explosion in the southern German state came just two days after a man went on a deadly rampage at a Munich mall, killing nine people, and after an ax attack on a train near Wuerzburg last Monday wounded five.

Authorities said they were alerted to an explosion in the city’s center shortly after 10 p.m. on Sunday.

The open-air concert with about 2,500 in attendance was shut down as a precaution after the explosion.

Germany, and Bavaria in particular, have been on edge following the attacks in Munich and on the train, which in turn came shortly after a Tunisian man in a truck killed 84 people when he plowed through a festive crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, on the French Riviera.

Bavarian public broadcaster Bayerische Rundfunk reported that about 200 police officers and 350 rescue personnel were brought in following the explosion in Ansbach.

 

Hakan Kaplan and David Rising (AP)