Several blasts occur near 2 U.S. bases in Germany
Stars and Stripes August 20, 2009
Police in Viernheim, Germany, were negotiating Wednesday afternoon with an unidentified man believed to be linked to several bombings earlier in the day in the towns of Viernheim and Weinheim.
The towns, near several U.S. military installations in Heidelberg and Mannheim, are home to many Americans.
Karlheinz Treusch, a German police spokesman from Darmstadt, did not release details on damage from the bombs or information on the suspect. But he did say that no one was seriously injured in any of the blasts and that the bombings probably were not politically motivated.
According to The Associated Press, the man set off an explosion around 6 a.m. at one home, then fled into a nearby apartment. He then called police and warned there could be further explosions.
German media reported that a 44-year-old man was suspected in the explosion and that he was being evicted after failing to pay rent for several months. One of the bombs exploded at the landlord’s house, according to the German newspaper, Bild Zeitung. The landlord’s family sustained minor injuries as they fled the scene.
Investigators believe that another explosion in Weinheim, some three miles away, might have been set off by the suspect, according to reports. A hand grenade might have been used in that blast, according to a police spokesperson.
Negotiations between the man and authorities continued throughout the afternoon. While it was not clear if the suspect was armed, Treusch said that the man was not holding any hostages.