Arson attacks disrupt German railways, police suspect anti-G20 activists
Cable duct fires ducts of rail signaling equipment affected intercity railways in several Germany’s federal states, including Berlin, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Saxony, federal police said in a statement.
“According to the first evaluations, it might be a deliberate arson attack. The investigations into this [incident] and motives behind it are ongoing, a politically motivated crime cannot be ruled out,” the statement reads.
In all, 12 cases of arson have been reported. Railway connections in several locations – the eastern cities of Leipzig and Dresden, western cities of Cologne and Dortmund, as well as long range intercity lines between Berlin and Prague – has been disrupted, rail operator Deutsche Bahn said in a statement.
Police have not detained any suspects yet. The arson attacks could have been carried out by extreme left-wing activists aimed at disrupting the upcoming G20 summit, which is scheduled to take place in Hamburg on July 7-8.
An announcement for the planned sabotage was posted on a far-left website on Sunday, followed by an anonymous claim of responsibility. A group calling itself ‘Shutdown G20: take Hamburg offline!’ claimed that it damaged the railway tracks, describing them as the “central nervous systems of capitalism.”
Germany saw a similar sabotage incident on the railways back in 2011, believed to be carried out by left-wingers protesting the deployment of German troops to Afghanistan.
Ahead of the G20 summit, Hamburg has experienced a series of arson attacks targeting cars of the police and the mayor’s security detail. Investigators have not ruled out a political motive behind the attacks.