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Attacks in Germany: four strikes in a week

Germany is reeling after a spate of bloody attacks in the south of the country in the last week.

Although refugees were suspected in three of the four assaults, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government warned against branding migrants a general security threat after the country let in a record 1.1 million asylum seekers last year.

Here is what we know about the attacks:

– July 24, 2016: Festival suicide bombing –

A failed Syrian asylum seeker set off an explosive device near an open-air music festival in the southern city of Ansbach that killed himself and wounded a dozen others.

The 27-year-old had spent time in a psychiatric facility, while the regional authorities said an there was “likely” a jihadist motive for the attack.

However a spokesman for the interior ministry later said there was as yet “no credible evidence” of a link to Islamic extremism.

– July 24, 2016: Knife attack –

A Syrian refugee was arrested after killing a Polish woman with a large kebab knife at a snack bar in the southwestern city of Reutlingen, in an incident police said did not bear the hallmarks of a “terrorist attack” and was more likely a crime of passion.

Three people were also injured in the assault, which ended when the 21-year-old assailant was deliberately struck by a BMW driver, believed to be the snack bar owner’s son, trying to stop the man.

– July 22, 2016: Munich mall mass shooting –

David Ali Sonboly, 18, shot dead nine people at a Munich shopping mall before turning the gun on himself, having spent a year planning the rampage.

Police said that the German-Iranian was “obsessed” with mass killers like Norwegian right-wing fanatic Anders Behring Breivik and had no links to the Islamic State group.

– July 18, 2016: Train axe attack –

A 17-year-old migrant wielding an axe and a knife went on a rampage on a regional train, seriously injuring four members of a tourist family from Hong Kong and a German passer-by.

The Islamic State group subsequently released a video purportedly featuring the assailant, named by media as Riaz Khan Ahmadzai, announcing he would carry out an “operation” in Germany, and presenting himself as a “soldier of the caliphate”.

He is believed to have been Afghan or Pakistani.


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