‘Ra­mazan row’ behind fire at Ger­man refugee shel­ter

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

BERLIN—A quar­rel over meal times dur­ing the Mus­lim holy month of Ra­mazan likely sparked an ar­son at­tack that de­stroyed a Ger­man refugee shel­ter, said a re­port Thurs­day quot­ing pros­e­cu­tors.

The huge blaze in the west­ern city of Dues­sel­dorf on Tues­day com­pletely lev­elled a hall that housed 282 male asy­lum seek­ers mostly from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and North African coun­tries, with 28 peo­ple suf­fer­ing from smoke in­hala­tion.

Po­lice have de­tained eight men al­legedly in­volved in the dis­pute, in­clud­ing two men sus­pected of ar­son, both Moroc­cans aged 26, one of whom al­legedly poured a flammable liq­uid onto a mat­tress and set it alight.

Wit­nesses re­ported that there had been re­cur­ring ten­sions be­tween fol­low­ers of dif­fer­ent re­li­gions in the Red Cross-run fa­cil­ity.

“Dur­ing this time of Ra­madan, there was one group that wanted to strictly ob­serve the fast, and another that in­sisted on the usual timeta­bles and usual serv­ings,” said Ralf Her­ren­brueck, spokesman for the pros­e­cu­tors ser­vice.

“This had led on sev­eral oc­ca­sions to dis­putes and al­ter­ca­tions with of­fi­cials of the Ger­man Red Cross,” he said in an in­ter­view with pub­lic broad­caster WDR.

“It got to the point where threats were made over what would hap­pen if things didn’t change, and that one threat was ob­vi­ously im­ple­mented.”

Since the start of the year, po­lice had been called 89 times to the 6,000-square-me­tre hall, which was formerly part of the city’s congress cen­tre, re­ports said.—AFP

CHANGCHUN: Shen Ming­ming (C), el­der brother of Chi­nese UN peace­keep­ing sol­dier Shen Lian­gliang who was killed in a ter­ror­ist at­tack in Mali last month, es­cort the cof­fin of Shen Lian­gliang to the hearse at Longjia Air­port in northest China’s Jilin Prov­ince.

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