Berlin station firebomb is defused
An arson attack on Berlin's busy central train station has been foiled at the last minute after staff discovered a firebomb.
Seven bottles filled with flammable liquid were bundled together and linked to a fuse and placed at end of one of the station's tunnels, just 100 yards from the platforms, she added.
Similar devices were used in a second arson attack earlier just west of Berlin along a high-speed link to Hamburg. The blast in a service shaft caused some damage and brought train traffic temporarily to a halt.
German tabloid Bild reported a leftist group calling itself "Hekla Reception Committee - Initiative for more Eruptions in Society" - in an apparent reference to Iceland's Hekla volcano - claimed responsibility. It said it was a protest against Germany's military engagement in Afghanistan.
German railway operator Deutsche Bahn's head of security, Gerd Neubeck, denounced the attack, saying "our customers shall not be held responsible for the German military's mission in Afghanistan."
Berlin has seen several arson attacks in the recent past that police have blamed on leftist extremists. One of them in May targeted a service shaft at an important railway hub in the city's east, causing massive disruption that left thousands of passengers stranded.
Germany is a large contributor to the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, with about 5,000 soldiers stationed in the north of the country.