Police in the German city of Cologne have reportedly opened an investigation after an improvised explosive device was found on a regional train overnight during a routine cleaning procedure.
A cleaner from Cologne’s Deutzerfeld train depot stumbled upon the homemade bomb hidden inside a box in one of the regional train’s compartments on Friday night, according to local media. The improvised explosive device was found in a wagon of a train that arrived in the city from the neighboring town of Gummersbach, located some 50 kilometers away from Cologne, earlier that day.
The police and a mine clearing crew who immediately arrived on the scene described the bomb as an “unconventional explosive device.” The IED consisted of a fuse tied to fireworks and black powder containers as well as filled nails and screws. The police special forces unit managed to defuse it on site and no one was injured in the incident.
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The police warned the bomb could inflict serious damage and cause “most serious” injuries should it have detonated with passengers still in the wagon. Still, the circumstances of the incident remain largely unknown. The investigators believe it could be a foiled terrorist attack by either right-wing extremists or Islamists.
Yet, the police also haven’t ruled out that the bomb could have been used just as a threat or as a means of blackmail. It is also unclear if the potential perpetrators left the IED in the train compartment in advance to detonate it on the Day of German Unity, which is celebrated on Saturday or actually planned to detonate it on Friday but the device did not work.
So far, the police have searched all 27 trains parked in the same depot and are asking anyone who has seen “anything suspicious,” to contact law enforcement.
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