LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany - The deaths of nine Turkish nationals in a fire in a western Germany city raised suspicions of racially motivated arson, officials said.
The Turkish government was sending a team of investigators to the German city of Ludwigshafen to examine the fire amid wider anti-immigration sentiments targeting Turks, the Turkish daily, Today's Zaman said Wednesday.
Turkish immigrants have claimed there is a rising anti-immigration sentiment emerging from some German conservative politicians. A fire Tuesday that injured 16 Turks in the western German city of Herne adds fuel to speculations of racism.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed concern over the possibility the fires were set deliberately as only Turkish immigrants suffered injuries or died in the recent events.
Five children and four adults died in the Ludwigshafen fire and German authorities said initial examinations suggested a natural gas explosion or an electrical malfunction caused the blaze, adding there was no immediate evidence of anti-immigration activity.
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