Sunday January 20, 2019
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Terror Strikes Again: Syrian migrant ‘behind German Blast’

The state of Bavaria's interior minister said the 27-year-old man had detonated the device after being refused entry to the music festival.

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An officer seen leaving the area of the blast. Image source: AP

Ansbach: A Syrian migrant has blown himself up and injured 12 other people with a backpack bomb near a open-air music festival in the town of Ansbach in south Germany.

The state of Bavaria’s interior minister said the 27-year-old man had detonated the device after being refused entry to the music festival.

About 2,500 people were evacuated from the venue after the explosion.

Bavaria has been on edge since a knife rampage on a train claimed by so-called Islamic State last Monday.

In that attack, in Wuerzburg, an axe-wielding Afghan asylum seeker teenager was shot dead after injuring five people.

A shooting rampage in the state capital, Munich, on Friday left nine people dead but police are not treating it as a terrorist attack.

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The Ansbach blast is reported to have happened at about 22:10 (20:10 GMT) outside the Eugens Weinstube bar in the centre of the town, which has a population of 40,000 and is home to a US military base.

The bomb went off close to the entrance to the Ansbach Open music festival.

Three of the injured were in a serious condition, police said.

Security services have sealed off the city centre and experts are trying to establish the kind of explosives the bomber used.

The Syrian man entered Germany two years ago and had his asylum claim rejected a year ago, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said.

He had been given leave to stay temporarily given the situation in his home country and provided with an apartment in Ansbach, Mr Herrmann added.

The minister said he was “incensed” by the attack which, he said, demonstrated the need to “strengthen controls on those we have living in our country”.

Mr Herrmann said the man had been known to have tried to take his own life twice and had spent time in a psychiatric clinic.

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

However, he added that the bomb in the backpack would have been sufficient to kill and injure many more people.

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Ansbach deputy police chief Roman Fertinger said there were “indications” that pieces of metal had been added to the explosive device.

Witness Thomas Debinski said there was “panic” after the explosion, although some people thought it was caused by a gas explosion.

“Then people came past and said it was a rucksack that had exploded,” he told Sky News.

“After what just happened in Munich it’s very disturbing to think what can happen so close to you in such a small town. (BBC)

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To Reach Britain Illegally, People Buy Boats On Facebook: Report

Responding to the issues raised by The Telegraph, Facebook said that any ads, posts, pages or groups that co-ordinate people smuggling are not allowed on Facebook.

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Facebook staring at bigger problems this year, warns analyst. VOA

Smugglers and migrants are using Facebook to buy boats for crossing the Channel from the French port city of Calais to come to Britain, The Telegraph reported.

The Facebook “Marketplace” has been favoured by groups of Iranians and Iraqis intent on organising their own Channel crossings, because they can club together and buy a boat at a much lower price than if they had to pay a smuggling gang, the paper reported on Sunday.

The Telegraph spotted online advertisements for 25 boats for sale within a 40 mile radius of Calais that cost under 15,000 euros on a single day.

It is believed that smugglers are also finding the Facebook “Marketplace” a convenient place to buy boats as it allows them to source their vessels from a nearby place.

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This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Marketplace was introduced in 2016 as a place for Facebook users to buy and sell within their local communities.

Responding to the issues raised by The Telegraph, Facebook said that any ads, posts, pages or groups that co-ordinate people smuggling are not allowed on Facebook.

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“We work closely with law enforcement agencies around the world including Europol to identify, remove and report this illegal activity, and we’re always improving the methods we use to identify content that breaks our policies, including doubling our safety and security team to 30,000 people and investing in technology,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying. (IANS)