Germans believe bomb blast was work of far-right

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The Independent Online

As a wave of neo-Nazi activity continued in Germany, police yesterday freed a 34-year-old former soldier brought in for questioning as a suspect in a bomb attack that injured 10 recent immigrants.

As a wave of neo-Nazi activity continued in Germany, police yesterday freed a 34-year-old former soldier brought in for questioning as a suspect in a bomb attack that injured 10 recent immigrants.

The man owns a military shop near the commuter train station in Düsseldorf where a Second World War hand grenade filled with TNT explosive was detonated last week, injuring 10 immigrants from the former Soviet Union, six of them Jewish.

A police spokesman said officers had searched the store and apartments belonging to the man but did not find any firm links to the attack. The state prosecutor, Johannes Mocken, said that while the suspect had a police record, he had not been tied to the right-wing scene.

Police refused to speculate about the motive for the attack, but there have been fears that it was carried out by far-right extremists. Police said they had been bombarded with calls from the public after the reward for information was raised to 120,000 marks (£40,000), and that a team of 50 officers was following up more than 140 leads. Detectives, who have been able to question five of the blast victims, were still trying to work out how the bomb was detonated.

The investigation continues amid a series of racist attacks which have prompted calls from leaders across the political spectrum for action to stem a rise in extremist violence. Police reported several fresh cases of right-wing activity yesterday, including two incidents in North Rhine-Westphalia, which includes Düsseldorf.

Police in Kaldenkirchen said they had detained three skinheads for pursuing asylum-seekers and threatening them with clubs and iron bars. In Essen, detectives were still seeking those responsible for throwing a rock through the bedroom window of the home of a Moroccan family. A note attached to the stone featured a swastika and Nazi slogans, the police said.

The government of North Rhine-Westphalia will later this month consider a number of steps to combat right-wing violence and racism, the state interior minister, Fritz Behrens, told television station ARD. (AP)

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