German Attack 30 killed

German Attack 30 killed 

A Taliban suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into a wall around the German consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif late on Thursday, killing at least six civilians and wounding scores, officials said.

A NATO spokesman said the explosion had caused “massive damage” to the building, where around 30 people normally worked. Heavily armed attackers followed up the blast, battling with Afghan and German security forces late into the night.

 

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in retaliation for NATO air strikes against a village near the northern city of Kunduz last week in which more than 30 people were killed. The Islamist movement’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said by telephone that heavily armed fighters, including suicide bombers, had been sent “with a mission to destroy the German consulate general and kill whoever they found there”.

Afghan security forces and NATO troops arrive at the site of explosion near the German consulate office in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan November 11, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Noor Mohammad Faiz, the head doctor in Mazar-i-Sharif provincial hospital, said four dead bodies and 120 wounded had been brought to the hospital and that the numbers may rise.

The attack highlighted the security problems spreading across Afghanistan in recent months, with heavy fighting in areas from the volatile southern province of Helmand to Kunduz in the far north.

More than 30 people, many of them children, were killed last week when US aircraft carried out air strikes in support of Afghan and US special forces who came under attack during a raid against suspected Taliban militants threatening Kunduz.

Germany, which heads the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in northern Afghanistan, has about 850 soldiers at a base on the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif, with another 1,000 troops coming from 20 partner countries.

A foreign ministry spokesman in Berlin said the attack was suppressed in the early hours of Friday by Afghan and German security personnel, as well as NATO special forces.

“All German employees of the Consulate General are safe and uninjured,” he said. It was not yet known how many Afghan civilians and security personnel were killed or wounded, the spokesman said.

SHATTERED WINDOWS

The explosion occurred about an hour before midnight local time, a spokesman for the German military joint forces command in Potsdam said. Witnesses reported sporadic gunfire from around the consulate and said the huge blast had shattered windows in a wide area around the compound.

 

“It was a prepared attack for which we made all arrangements,” Mujahid said. “As per our plan, first a suicide bomber driving an explosives-laden vehicle rammed the main building of the consulate and that enabled other fighters to move in and kill all the foreigners there.” By the early hours of the morning, Afghan special forces were conducting search operations but were not encountering any more resistance, said Sayed Kamal Sadat, police chief of Balkh province.

 

Afghan security forces and NATO troops investigate at the site of explosion near the German consulate office in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan November 11, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Another provincial official, deputy police chief Abdul Razaq Qaderi, said at least one suspect had been arrested from the area of explosion. The NATO spokesman said at least one car packed with explosives had been rammed into the high outer wall surrounding the consulate, but authorities were investigating if a second car had been involved. The heavily protected consulate is located in a large building close to the Blue Mosque in the center of Mazar-i-Sharif, where the Indian consulate was also attacked by militant gunmen earlier this year.

A crisis task force was set up in Berlin and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was receiving continual updates, the German foreign ministry spokesman said.

German police say arrested Syrian bomb plot suspect

German police say arrested Syrian bomb plot suspect

German police say arrested Syrian bomb plot suspect

BERLIN,: 

German police said Monday they have arrested a Syrian man suspected of plotting a bomb attack, after a massive manhunt lasting almost two days.

“We’ve succeeded, really overjoyed: the terror suspect (Jaber) Albakr was arrested overnight in Leipzig,” police said on Twitter about the 22-year-old.

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Police had on Saturday found several hundred grams of an “explosive substance more dangerous than TNT” hidden in Albakr’s apartment and said that “even a small quantity … could have caused enormous damage”.

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Local media reported that the material was TATP, the homemade explosive that was used by militants in the Paris and Brussels attacks.
Albakr was believed to have had internet contact with the Islamic State group, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.

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Acting on a tip-off from the domestic intelligence agency, police commandos had sought to swoop on the Syrian early Saturday at his apartment building in the eastern city of Chemnitz, about 85 kilometres from Leipzig.

But he narrowly managed to evade police, local media said.
He was finally caught after police learnt that he had sought help from two Syrians in Leipzig, Spiegel Online reported. Police subsequently arrested him in the early hours of Monday in the two Syrians’ apartment.

German police raid mosque, apartments in crackdown on Salafists

German police raid mosque, apartments in crackdown on Salafists

BERLIN: German police have searched a mosque and eight apartments in Hildesheim that are believed to be a hotbed of a radical community, the interior minister of the northern state of Lower Saxony said on Thursday.

Germany is on high alert after a spate of attacks since July 18 left 15 people dead — including four attackers — and dozens injured. Two assailants, a Syrian asylum seeker and a refugee from either Pakistan or Afghanistan, had links to Islamist militancy, officials say.

Interior Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement that up to 400 police personnel, including mobile squads and a special forces police commando, were involved in the raids on Wednesday in the Hildesheim area, which is a short drive south of Hanover.

“The German-speaking Islamic circle (DIK) in Hildesheim is a nationwide hotspot of the radical Salafist scene that Lower Saxony security authorities have been monitoring for a long time,” the state official said.

Pistorius said the search followed months of planning and was an important step towards banning the association, which security authorities say has radicalised Muslims and encouraged them to take part in jihad in combat zones.

Numerous members of the mosque have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join the militant Islamic State (IS) group, while sermons, seminars and speeches call for “hate against non-believers”, the ministry said.

Germany has seen sharp increase in the number of Salafists in recent years, with the total number of sympathisers now seen at 8,900, up from 7,000 at the end of 2014, German officials have said.

Security authorities say the DIK in Hildesheim is believed to have become the focal point of Salafist activities in Lower Saxony, the second-largest of Germany’s 16 states after Bavaria.

“We will not put up with Salafist associations and their backers flouting our rules and bringing our rule of law into question and convincing young people that they want to join the so-called IS,” Pistorius said.

“I’m convinced that our freedom is stronger than the inhuman ideology of the extremists,” he added.

Source/Credit: Dawn