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Police cordon at the cemetery of Altbach (Baden-Württemberg)

Photo: Christoph Schmidt / dpa

Several people were injured in an explosion and a subsequent physical altercation during a funeral service at a cemetery in Altbach, Baden-Württemberg. Five to seven people were slightly injured in the detonation of a still unknown object, said a spokeswoman for the Reutlingen police. One person was seriously injured and flown by helicopter to a hospital. His injuries apparently did not come from the explosion, but from an altercation that followed.

Up to 500 people had gathered at the cemetery around noon to attend a funeral of a 20-year-old man who died a week earlier. According to the latest investigation, two men appeared, one of them threw an object into the middle of the ceremony. Eyewitnesses report a huge bang, "as if a bomb had exploded," the dpa news agency quotes a local resident.

What exactly was thrown is unclear until the evening. The police first spoke of a firecracker, then of an unknown object. One thing is clear: the projectile exploded. Up to seven mourners were injured, the exact number is still unclear. According to security sources, they suffered "burn and shrapnel injuries."

After the explosion, a tumult ensued. Mourners pursued the two alleged perpetrators, got hold of one and beat him so violently that he had to be flown to hospital with serious injuries. The police later spoke of a very aggressive mood. The man who allegedly threw the object is still on the run.

The background to the attack is unclear.