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Suicide behind fire at German asylum center

October 6, 2015

German investigators have determined a fatal fire at an asylum center was caused by a suicide. The finding comes as a number of refugees centers have been lit on fire by far-right groups.

Asylum dormitory in Saalfeld.
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Police said on Tuesday they determined a 29-year-old Eritrean lit himself on fire using a flammable liquid in his dormitory room and died from suffocation.

The fire broke out in the three-story dormitory on Monday. The other occupants of the refugee center, located in Saalfeld, in the eastern state of Thuringia, escaped unharmed.

Several refugees have been injured, but none killed, in dozens of far-right arson attacks on German asylum shelters in the past few months.

Recently, two suspected fires were set in Thuringia, one of them about 70 kilometers (43 miles) away from Saalfeld.

Germany is expecting a record influx of more than 800,000 asylum seekers this year. This has fuelled social tensions in some parts of the country, particularly in areas of relatively high unemployment.

cw/jr (AFP, dpa)