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Germany arrests four Syrians over mosque fire

Police stand guard after a Turkish mosque was set ablaze in Berlin [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 March, 2018

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The suspects were detained on suspicion of attempted murder and setting fire to a Turkish-frequented mosque in southern Germany.

German police arrested four Syrian men on suspicion of attempted murder and setting fire to a mosque in the southern city of Ulm, AFP reported.

The four suspects, aged 18 to 27, were arrested on Wednesday. One of the men has already confessed to the crime, according to a police statement released on Thursday. 

The March 19 attack, which occurred at 3am, saw several Molotov cocktails lobbed at the mosque.

The fire was quickly put out by police and nobody inside the building was harmed. 

Prosecutors said they suspect the attack "may have been politically motivated," but declined to offer further details. "The investigation, including into the motive of the Syrians... is ongoing," the statement read.

Many observers have suggested the attack was retaliation for Turkey's offensive against Kurdish fighters in the Afrin region of northern Syria. A string of Turkish mosques, cultural centres and shops have been targeted in recent weeks in Germany. 

Earlier this month, the Kurdish Community in Germany condemned the attacks and social media calls that were "urging Kurdish youths to employ violence against Turkish institutions".

Germany is home to three million ethnic Turks, most of whom arrived initially as guest workers in the years after the Second World War. The country is also home to hundreds of thousands of Kurds. 

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