Suicide bombing outside cafe in Ansbach, Germany

PUBLISHED Sun, July 24, 2016 - 5:44pm EDT

A suicide bomber has blown himself up outside a restaurant-cafe near a music festival in the German city of Ansbach, injuring at least 12 people, officials say. A large number of emergency services, including special police units, are at the scene. (more)

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The incident happened at around 10:30 p.m. local time on Sunday when an explosion occurred in front of the Eugens Weinstube (wine bar) on Pfarrstraße in downtown Ansbach, a city that is located in the state of Bavaria. It is about 150 kilometers (93 miles) northwest of Munich.

Local media initially reported that the blast was caused by a gas leak, but Ansbach Mayor Carda Seidel later confirmed that the blast was the result of an explosive device. A police spokesman confirmed that the bomber was killed and 12 others were injured, some of them seriously.

Witnesses at the scene reported seeing a large number of emergency services, including heavily-armed special police forces and a helicopter that is hovering over the area. Large parts of downtown Ansbach have been cordoned off by police.

The attacker was identified as a 27-year-old Syrian refugee whose request for asylum has been denied last year, but it was not immediately known why he was still in Germany. There were no immediate claims of responsibility from terrorist organizations.

The incident occurred during the Ansbach Open music festival in the city, which is taking place from Friday through Sunday and attracts many thousands of visitors. After the explosion took place, authorities decided to cancel the event for the night.

The attack comes nearly a week after a 17-year-old refugee attacked people with an axe inside a passenger train near the German city of Würzburg, injuring five people. The attacker, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, was shot dead by police.

The incident also comes just two days after a deadly shooting attack at a shopping mall in the German city of Munich, killing 9 people and injuring dozens more. The attacker, who killed himself when approached by police, was not linked to Islamic terrorism.

And earlier on Sunday, a Syrian refugee with a machete attacked people in the city of Reutlingen, killing a pregnant woman and injuring two other people. The incident was preceded by some sort of argument and police ruled out a link to terrorism.

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  Ansbach, Germany     





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