Travel chaos after arson attacks on Germany's rail network ahead of G20
Berlin : Rail passengers in Germany on Monday saw their travel plans hit by delays and cancellations after suspected arson attacks overnight caused fires to break out across parts of the nation's railway network.
Security forces were working to establish whether the fires were started as part of a coordinated vandalism effort or whether there was a political motive, Efe news reported.
"This morning, there were 12 arson attacks on German railway installations between 1 a.m. and 4.30 a.m.," police in the federal state of Saxony (east Germany) said in a statement posted on Facebook. Four of the fires were reported in the Leipzig area, according to police.
"There is an assumption that the fires are linked. A political motivation, such as in relation to the G20 summit in Hamburg, has not been ruled out," the police statement said in reference to an upcoming G20 meeting from July 7-8 in the northern port city.
Railway company Deutsche Bahn warned passengers of cancellations and delays in Hamburg and Lübeck in the north, and Leipzig in the east due to "vandalism damage."
The company said regional trains were experiencing delays in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund and Bochum in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Police in the capital Berlin said they were investigating a cable fire near the Treptower Park S-Bahn (suburban rail) station, while police in Saxony -- where Leipzig is located -- asked for witnesses to come forward with information on the fires.