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'Car bomb' kills driver in Berlin

Published 15/03/2016

A bomb disposal specialist wears protective gear after a car exploded in Berlin (AP)
A bomb disposal specialist wears protective gear after a car exploded in Berlin (AP)

An explosion that destroyed a car and killed the driver in central Berlin during rush hour traffic was probably caused by a bomb, police said, but investigators are working on the assumption it was not a terror-related attack.

The explosion occurred at about 8am local time (0700 GMT) in the western district of Charlottenburg on a busy street leading into the heart of the German capital.

Photos from the scene showed the wreckage of a Berlin-registered silver Volkswagen Passat estate, its windows blown out and its front end smashed in, about a kilometre (half a mile) from the capital's landmark Victory Column.

"(The) explosion occurred inside or on the vehicle," said Carsten Mueller, deputy chief spokesman for Berlin police.

"Our investigators are working on the assumption that it was an explosive device that caused this," Mr Mueller said.

Nobody else was injured in the blast despite heavy traffic, he said.

Hours after the blast, police were concentrating on the possibility that the explosion might be linked to organised crime, said Kerstin Ziesmer, a police spokeswoman.

She said investigators had identified the man who was killed but declined to name him.

The city has seen a spate of violence linked to biker gangs involved in the drugs trade in recent years.

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