Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lebanese Hostel Resident Charged in Arson-Murder

LUEBECK, Germany -- German police questioned residents of a foreigner's hostel in Luebeck on Monday in a search for possible accomplices of a Lebanese resident of the hostel charged with starting a fire that killed 10 people, a spokesman said.


The Lebanese suspect, arrested after allegedly telling a rescue worker at the scene of Thursday's blaze at the hostel, "We were the ones," swears he is innocent and denies having made such an incriminating statement. Police in the northern port city did not reveal how many or who the other suspects were.


A German judge on Saturday night ordered the 21-year-old Lebanese, identified only as Safwan E., to be placed under arrest on suspicion of 10 counts of murder, 38 cases of attempted murder, and aggravated arson.


Police have ruled out any technical defect as cause of the fire after all the debris had been sifted for clues.


They also said it could not have been an arson attack from outside because the building's door was firmly locked and no windows had been shattered from the outside.


Despite having charged the man with murder, police did not make it clear to journalists whether they thought the fire had been started on purpose or by accident.


Apart from the dead, four of whom were children, 38 people were injured in the blaze. The hostel housed refugees from Zaire, Togo, Syria and Lebanon and ethnic German immigrants from Poland.