German Anti-Terror Police Probing Explosion at AfD Party Office

Police detained three people after a blast damaged the office of the AfD party in the German city of Döbeln.

Anti-terror investigators see the blast as an escalation following other acts of anti-AfD vandalism.

German authorities have detained three suspects following a blast which started a fire in the AfD's local office in Döbeln, officials said on Friday.

The men, aged 29, 32, and 50, are suspected of detonating an "unknown substance" in the street on Thursday evening. The explosion damaged the door and windows of the AfD office and set fire to promotional materials inside, prompting firefighters to deploy to the scene. Nearby cars were reportedly also damaged. No injuries were reported.

On Friday, police said there was a series of attacks against AfD offices in the eastern state of Saxony in recent weeks, but added that most of them were limited to vandalism.

"The attack against the AfD office in Döbeln is extraordinary given that the explosion means accepting that people could be harmed," the state's criminal police said.

Policemen are working in Bahnhofstraße after an explosion at the height of the AfD citizen's office. (Sebastian Willnow/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Saxony's Interior Minister Roland Wöller said the state would not tolerate such attacks and pledged a severe response.

"We are dealing with a completely new level of violence against politicians," he said.
Martin Dulig, Saxony's deputy prime minister and a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), condemned the attack Friday morning on Twitter.

"There's no justification for the attack on the AfD office in Döbeln," he wrote. "Violence is not a means of democracy. The AfD must be fought politically and not with explosives. This attack helps the AfD and hurts democracy."

You can read this article as it originally appears at Deustche Welle here.

(PHOTO: Sebastian Willnow/picture alliance via Getty Images)

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This article originally appeared at Deutsche Welle.