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Germany hunts bomb suspect in Chemnitz

image copyrightAP
image captionPolice failed to find the suspect in a raid on an apartment

Police in the eastern German city of Chemnitz have detained three people as they continue a search for a suspect believed to be planning a bomb attack.

Acting on a tip-off from the domestic intelligence service, police raided a flat but failed to find the suspect, Jaber al-Bakr, 22, who was born in Syria. He remains on the run.

Several hundred grams of "highly volatile" explosives were found at the property, investigators said.

They were destroyed by a bomb squad.

About 100 people were evacuated from the block of flats as the explosives were moved for a controlled detonation.

Two people in contact with Mr al-Bakr were detained at Chemnitz railway station and another person was detained near the flat in the Fritz-Heckert neighbourhood, Kathlen Zink of Saxony's criminal investigation office said.

She said they were suspected of being "linked with the suspect somehow" and had been taken in for questioning.

image copyrightAFP
image captionA robot capable of disarming bombs has been deployed at Chemnitz railway station
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPolice check cars at Berlin's Schoenefeld

The "where, when, how and why" of the planned attack remained unknown according to Tom Bernhardt, a spokesman for the same office.

He said the explosives in the flat were "relatively well hidden".

Saxony police have released pictures of Damascus-born Mr al-Bakr wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt with a colourful print.

They have not provided any information about how long he had been in Germany.

They have urged anyone with information about him to come forward.

image copyright@PolizeiSachsen

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's popularity has waned since her decision to open the borders to refugees and migrants last year, admitting more than a million people, many of them Syrian.

In July, an axe attack on a train near Wuerzburg and a suicide bombing in Ansbach wounded 20 people and were claimed by so-called Islamic State (IS).

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