Bloomberg News

Berlin Police Find Explosives Near Main Railway Station

October 10, 2011

(Updates with details on note claiming responsibility in third paragraph).

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Police in Berlin found explosives in a tunnel leading to the city’s main train station, foiling a possible attack in the center of the German capital hours after a signal station caught fire northwest of the city.

Authorities closed off the station’s north tunnel at around noon today after employees for state railway Deutsche Bahn AG found a number of bottles containing flammable fluid, Federal Police spokeswoman Nadine Marschner said. The closure disrupted traffic in and out of the glass-and-steel terminal, which opened in 2006 as Europe’s largest multilevel station.

Deutsche Bahn condemned the attack and referred to a note claiming responsibility for the incident that criticized Germany’s military involvement in Afghanistan. The note, from a group calling itself the “Hekla Reception Committee -- Initiative for More Social Eruptions,” threatened to sabotage traffic in the city, Bild newspaper reported.

“This is absolutely irresponsible,” Gerd Neubeck, the director of Deutsche Bahn’s security office, said in a statement. “With a rail network stretching 34,000 kilometers (21,100 miles), comprehensive security is simply impossible.”

Unidentified assailants also set fire early today to a rail signal station on the Berlin-Hamburg route in the state of Brandenburg, which surrounds Berlin, Marschner said.

Germany is the third-largest troop contributor to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s mission in Afghanistan with about 5,000 personnel. This week is the 10-year anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

--Editors: Leon Mangasarian, Chad Thomas

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Donahue in Berlin at pdonahue1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:


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