Europe

Germany Sikh temple attack suspect 'on anti-extremism programme'

Eight people, most of them visibly in police uniforms, stand outside a building where police tape is visible Image copyright AP
Image caption Three people were wounded in the explosion at a Sikh temple in Essen, western Germany

Authorities in Germany say a teenager who is suspected of bombing a Sikh temple earlier this month had been in a violence prevention programme aimed at Islamic extremists.

He is one of two 16-year olds from western Germany who were arrested after the 16 April attack.

Three people were wounded, one seriously, in the bombing.

Authorities also say the boy previously threatened to break the neck of another student, who was Jewish.

The head of the police in the north-western city of Essen, Frank Richter, called the attack "religiously motivated terror by the Islamist scene" and said both boys had links to Islamist groups in the region.

A third person was arrested but was later released.

The bomb damaged part of the temple building and blew out some of the windows. It exploded after a wedding party and the people who were injured had been guests.

Mr Richter also said it was likely there would be more arrests, and that the boys had "partially admitted" their involvement in the attack.

A North Rhine Westphalia state representative, Gregor Golland, said it was clear that the anti-extremism programme "had not worked".

He said: "These programmes must be substantially intensified, and we need a register of people of interest who are under 16, which is common in other states."

Image copyright AP
Image caption A week after the temple attack, Sikhs in Essen turned out to protest

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