An explosion in the southern German city of Ansbach was a suicide attack, according to the region’s interior minister. The bomber died in the blast.
A device was exploded by a 27-year-old Syrian national outside a music festival. He had been denied entry into the event due to the lack of a ticket, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said during a news conference early Monday.
Twelve people were injured, three seriously.
The man, who has not yet been named, stood around the festival entrance for a short period before he blew himself up. The music festival and surrounding area were evacuated.
Authorities said the bomber had entered Germany two years ago and had previously applied for asylum in Germany, but his application had been rejected. He remained in the country as it is German policy to not allow rejected applicants to return to war zones.
Herrmann said the attacker’s backpack contained screws and nails, an apparent attempt to inflict further damage.
He was also known to police in Ansbach for previous offenses, including violations of “narcotics law,” Herrmann said. He had also previously twice attempted suicide. However, the incident is being treated as a suicide bombing as opposed to a suicide attempt.
“Because how this backpack and the bomb were packed, especially with so many metal splinters, which could have killed and injured many more people, this act cannot be purely assessed as a suicide,” Herrmann explained.
Ansbach is also a major U.S. military garrison town, with around 5,000 members of the military living there, along with civilians, contractors and retirees. There are three military installations in the Ansbach area, according to the garrison’s website.
Officially this attack is not confirmed as terrorism, he said, but there are strong indications it may be.
Special Forces in Munich are on the scene investigating, police said.
Violence has struck Germany in several places recently.
On Sunday, a man killed a woman with a machete in Reutlingen. The 21-year-old Syrian asylum seeker came to Germany one year ago, according to a police statement, and he was known to police for property thefts and assault.
Police said the woman was 45 years old and from Poland.
On Friday, a man in Munich went on a shooting spree in a busy shopping district, killing nine people before killing himself, authorities said.
Authorities have not found a link to terror groups. Police said he may have planned the attack for a year.
It has been a “very terrible week” for Hermann personally, he said, due to the closeness of the incident with previous attacks.
“Yes, this was also for me personally a very terrible week, as I think it was for most of the people in Bavaria. The attack last Monday on the train in Wuerzburg, then the rampage/amok in Munich Friday night, and now again an attack.
“It has been almost nine years now that I am interior minister. And I have not had, thank goodness, to experience something like this during these nine years until now. And I do hope that I will not experience something like that so soon and fast.”