Suspected perpetrator arrested in Solingen arson attack case

German authorities have arrested a suspect over allegedly carrying out an arson attack on a building in Solingen that killed four members of a Turkish-origin Bulgarian family last month.

The 39-year-old German suspect previously resided in the arson-targeted building but was evicted in the spring of 2022 due to unpaid rent, Wuppertal Prosecutor Heribert Kaune-Gebhardt said during a press conference on April 10.

Four Turkish-origin Bulgarian citizens, including two children, on March 25 lost their lives in the fire that occurred in a four-story building, while nine others were injured, two seriously. Authorities informed that traces of explosive material found in the apartment indicated arson.

When the perpetrator had been under investigation for some time for potentially igniting the blaze as an act of revenge over his dispute with the landlady, he was involved in another incident on April 8 after attacking his friend with a machete and seriously injuring him, Kaune-Gebhardt noted.

On the other hand, the prosecutor emphasized that there is no connection between the recent incident and the arson, adding that the suspect was also under scrutiny for drug-related offenses.

The investigation has not revealed any evidence of a xenophobic or other motive for the arson, Kaune-Gebhardt said.

On March 30, hundreds of people gathered in Solingen for a march to commemorate the victims, chanting slogans demanding justice as they walked toward the Höhscheid district where the burned house was located.

Emin Zhilov, the father of İsmail Zhilov, who died in the arson, revealed that his son had only recently moved to Germany two months prior. After finding a job in the country, he brought his wife and children with him.


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