Europe

Germany police raid flats linked to Chechen investigation

A police vehicle is pictured in front of a House in Jena, east Germany, during an anti-terror operation on 25 October, 2016. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Tuesday's raids targeted 12 apartments as well as a shelter for asylum seekers

Police raided apartments across Germany on Tuesday as part of an investigation into Islamist terrorism.

Fourteen asylum seekers from the southern Russian republic of Chechnya are at the centre of the probe.

But contrary to earlier reports police said no arrests had been made among the 11 men and three women.

Local media say a white powder was found in one of the flats, but police say they have found no evidence of a concrete threat of attack.

Those being investigated are aged between 21 and 31, police say.

Most are suspected of financing terrorism and one 28-year-old man is suspected of planning to join so-called Islamic State jihadists in Syria, police said.

But they now say previous reports that he was arrested were wrong.

The raids took place early on Tuesday morning, with 12 flats and a shelter for asylum seekers searched in states around Germany, from Thuringia and Saxony in the east to Bavaria in the south, Hamburg in the north and North Rhine-Westphalia in the west.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Police removed belongings from a flat in Jena, eastern Germany

The Russian region of Chechnya is home to a number of jihadist groups, including some aligned with Islamic State.

The raids come just weeks after a Syrian refugee was arrested because large amounts of explosives were found in his apartment.

The man was on the run for days, before being overwhelmed by other Syrian refugees, who handed him over to the police.

The suspect had reportedly been planning a bomb attack on a Berlin airport, but later killed himself in his prison cell in Leipzig.

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