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German Prosecutors Say No Evidence Linking Suspect to Bus Bombing

  • VOA News

Police investigators secure the streets near the team hotel of soccer team Borussia Dortmund, in Dortmund, Germany, April 12, 2017, a day after their team bus was damaged in an explosion, injuring a player and a police officer.

German prosecutors said Thursday investigators have not found evidence that a man detained in connection with the bombing of a football team bus in Dortmund took part in the attack.

But the statement said they are still seeking an arrest warrant for the man identified as Abdul Beset A. on allegations he is a member of the Islamic State group.

The prosecutors said they believe the Iraqi national led a unit of 10 militants involved in kidnapping, smuggling, extortion and killings in his home country, before crossing into Turkey in 2015 and into Germany early last year.

The series of explosions Tuesday hit the Borussia Dortmund team bus, injuring player Marc Bartra and a policeman. A game the team was supposed to play that night against Monaco was delayed to Wednesday, when Monaco defeated Dortmund 3-2.

Prosecutors have said they are looking into a possible terrorist link to the attack. A spokeswoman said Wednesday two suspects "from the Islamist spectrum have come into the focus of the criminal prosecution," and that one of them - the Iraqi named in Thursday's statement - had been detained.

According to the prosecutors, a note left at the scene of the bombing suggests the attack could have been carried out by Muslim extremists. The note also contained demands for the withdrawal of German military jets from Turkey and the shuttering of the U.S. Ramstein airbase in Germany.

The injured player, Bartra, posted a message on Instagram saying he is “doing much better” along with a photo of him giving a thumbs up with a bandage wrapped around his arm.

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