23 February 2004
HAMBURG – German police said Monday they were considering a possible political motive in a hand grenade attack on a concert hall at Hamburg University during a performance by Turkish-Kurdish singer Ibrahim Tatlises the evening before.
Two security guards were wounded in the attack, with one guard having to be taken to hospital with serious leg wounds.
Police said what was apparently a small hand grenade was thrown at a basement entrance at the rear of the university concert building.
An eyewitness reported seeing a third man bleeding from apparent wounds leaving the area after the blast, leading police to suspect that he may have somehow been involved.
The only other lead police were pursuing was that the manager of Tatlises received a threatening message on his cellphone after the blast. Police were trying to trace the call.
Ibrahim Tatlises, also known as Ibo, was performing before a crowd of some 1,500 persons when the attack occurred.
Apparently the audience did not even hear the sound of the explosion, and police did not move to stop the concert. After the concert, they searched the building for further explosive devices.
Tatlises, a popular singer in Turkey who has his own TV show and radio station, is best known for his songs mixing pop music with Turkish folklore elements. On occasion he sings songs in Kurdish.
In 1998 Tatlises escaped unharmed when gunmen opened fire on him in his car in Istanbul.
Shortly before that attack, Tatlises had aroused public anger after he made a remark on television that Turkish soldiers would be dying “for nothing” in their fight against the banned militant Kurdish separatist group PKK.
Subject: German news