Thursday April 25, 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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Fight Against Terrorism: Iran, Pakistan Agree To Set Up Joint Border ‘Reaction Force’

Stressing that "no third country" could harm Iran-Pakistan ties, an apparent reference to the United States, Rohani said Tehran was ready to boost trade and business ties with Islamabad.

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Iranian President Hassan Rohani (left) and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan reviewing an honor guard in Tehran on April 22. RFERL

Iranian President Hassan Rohani and visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan have agreed to set up a joint border “reaction force” to counter terrorism, Iranian state media reported.

“We agreed to create a joint rapid reaction force at the borders for combatting terrorism,” Rohani was quoted as saying on April 22 during a joint press conference with Khan, who was officially welcomed in the Iranian capital earlier in the day.

The announcement comes following tensions between the two countries who have in recent months accused each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across the border.

“Pakistan will not allow any militant group to operate” from its soil, Khan said at the press conference while adding that the problem of terrorism was “increasing differences” between both countries.

“So it was very important for me to come here and come with our security chief that we resolve this issue,” Khan said.

Pakistan
The visit comes a day after Pakistan asked Iran to take action against terrorist groups believed to be behind the killing of 14 Pakistani soldiers earlier this month. Pixabay

Citing a militant attack on Pakistani security forces in Baluchistan on April 18, he said, Pakistan’s security chief will be meeting his Iranian counterpart on April 22 to discuss how both countries can cooperate in not allowing their soil to be used by militant groups.

Stressing that “no third country” could harm Iran-Pakistan ties, an apparent reference to the United States, Rohani said Tehran was ready to boost trade and business ties with Islamabad.

For his part, Khan said his visit to Tehran aimed to “find ways to increase trade and cooperation…in energy and other areas,” noting that two-way trade was “very limited.”

Khan arrived in Iran on April 21 on his first official visit to the Islamic republic for talks set to focus on strengthening bilateral ties, “fighting terrorism, and safeguarding borders,” Iranian state media reported.

The two countries have in recent months accused each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across the border.

The two-day trip started with a stopover in the holy city of Mashhad, where Khan visited the shrine of Imam Reza, who is revered by Shi’ite Muslims.

The visit comes a day after Pakistan asked Iran to take action against terrorist groups believed to be behind the killing of 14 Pakistani soldiers earlier this month.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on April 20 that 15 gunmen wearing military uniforms ambushed a bus in southwestern Balochistan Province on April 18, killing 14 Pakistani Army personnel.

Pakistan
“We agreed to create a joint rapid reaction force at the borders for combatting terrorism,” Rohani was quoted as saying on April 22 during a joint press conference with Khan, who was officially welcomed in the Iranian capital earlier in the day. Pixabay

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a letter to the Iranian government that the assailants came from an alliance of three Baluch terrorist organizations based in Iran.

Qureshi told reporters that Khan would take up the matter with Iranian authorities.

Earlier this year, Iran called on Pakistan to take action against a militant group behind a deadly attack on the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

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Twenty-seven IRGC members were killed in the February suicide car bombing near the border with Pakistan.

The Sunni Muslim extremist group Jaish al-Adl claimed responsibility for the attack in southeastern Iran. (RFERL)