Islamophobia escalates in Germany: Mosque and conference center both bombed, no casualties

Published September 27th, 2016 - 01:00 GMT
Fire fighters try to extinguish a fire at a former hotel that was under reconstruction to become a home for asylum seekers on February 21, 2016 in Bautzen east of Dresden, eastern Germany. (AFP/Rico Loeb)
Fire fighters try to extinguish a fire at a former hotel that was under reconstruction to become a home for asylum seekers on February 21, 2016 in Bautzen east of Dresden, eastern Germany. (AFP/Rico Loeb)

Two improvised explosive devices detonated in the city of Dresden, eastern Germany, on Monday evening; one at an international conference center and the other one at a mosque. Police officials confirmed on Tuesday that no on was injured in the attack. 

"Even if we so far have no claim of responsibility, we must go on the basis that the motive was xenophobic," said the president of Dresden police Horst Kretzschmar.

Kretzschmar added that police established a connection between the attack and upcoming celebrations to mark the anniversary of German reunification on Oct. 3, 1990.

The imam was inside the mosque at the time of the attack along with his spouse and children, but they were not hurt. The building was damaged nonetheless as a result of pressure waves from the blast. 

Shortly after the attack on the mosque, the International Congress Centre was targeted by a homemade bomb. Police forces were dispatched to guard other mosques in the city during the night.

Dresden was the cradle of the anti-Islam PEGIDA grassroots movement which attracted around 20,000 supporters during rallies at the height of its popularity at the start of 2015.

The influx of about 1 million refugees and asylum seekers to Germany last year has increased social tensions, especially in eastern Germany where there have been some high-profile attacks on refugee shelters.


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