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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Suspect Neo-Nazis in Lethal Fire

LUEBECK, Germany -- A suspected arson fire raced through an immigrant home Thursday, killing at least nine people and injuring 55. Police detained three neo-Nazis on suspicion of carrying out Germany's deadliest anti-foreigner attack since World War II.


Three children were among those killed in the blaze that broke out early Thursday morning in a four-story apartment building housing Africans, Lebanese, Syrians and Poles in this North German port.


Police sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the suspects were right-wing extremists and that one was a skinhead -- a neo-Nazi with a trademark shaved head. They were being held on suspicion of arson and murder.


One panicked woman jumped to her death from the flaming house holding her child in her arms, police said. The child was hospitalized with severe injuries.


Police did not immediately release the identity of the victims but said the dead included three children. The African residents apparently were from Zaire and Angola.


Luebeck mayor Michael Bouteiller called on townspeople to gather at the scene for an evening demonstration.


Police investigators said they were investigating the fire and did not rule out "a technical defect" as the cause.


Earlier, Luebeck public prosecutor Michael Boeckenhauer said the fire started simultaneously in several places, indicating arson.


He said the suspects' ages ranged from 17 to 36.


Luebeck has seen right-wing violence in the past. Young neo-Nazis firebombed the city's synagogue on the 1994 Jewish holiday of Passover, and arsonists set fire to the synagogue's storeroom last May.





In Burgwedel, about 180 kilometers southwest of Luebeck, unknown suspects tried to set ablaze a shelter for refugees from former Yugoslavia early Thursday.


Someone spread flammable liquid in the dwelling and set it alight but the asylum seekers put out the fire before it caused major damage, police said.


No one was injured and no suspects were arrested.