A suicide bomber who blew himself up after being turned away from a music festival in southern Germany was a Syrian man who had been denied asylum.
The 27-year-old killed himself and injured 12 others, three of them seriously, when he detonated an explosive device near a bar in central Ansbach on Sunday evening.
Around 2,500 people were evacuated from a nearby open-air music event where the attacker, who had been in Germany for more than a year, tried to gain entry.
Witnesses described seeing a rucksack explode, killing the man.
As they launched an investigation, local officials said it would be ‘purely speculation’ whether his actions were linked to Islamic extremism.
The concert was shut down and around 200 police officers and 350 rescue personnel flooded the scene, with investigators later confirming the blast had been caused by a bomb.
Bavaria’s interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, said the suspect was a Syrian who had been rejected for asylum a year ago, but had been allowed to stay in Germany due to the civil war.
In January a programme was launched in Ansbach to help refugees assimilate by teaching them the basics of law in their new host country.
The initiative came amid growing tensions and concerns in Germany over the large numbers of migrants, and taught lessons on freedom of opinion, the separation of religion and state and the equality of men and women.
Police are yet to release more details on the attacker and he has not been named.
Michael Schrotberger, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Ansbach, said his motives remained unclear.
‘If there is an Islamist link or not is purely speculation at this point,’ he said.