Police in Krakow have arrested a man in connection with a series of apparently random bombings in the city.
Four attacks took place over the course of almost a month, from June 29, in the quiet southern district of Borek Fałęcki. During the hunt for the man, four nail bombs exploded – seriously injuring one man and causing panic in the neighbourhood.
Then, on July 22, police announced that they had arrested a man identified as Rafal K. – who police told a press conference was already “of interest” to the public prosecutor on unrelated charges of fraud, theft and receiving stolen goods.
The bombing campaign in the normally peaceful district close to the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy – a site of international pilgrimage – set residents on edge, with many refusing to go out at night and neighbours pledging to keep watch over each others’ homes during the daytime.
However, police and residents believe that this summer’s bombings were linked to a series of arson attacks that began late last year when garages and cars were doused in an as yet unknown accelerant and set alight. The incidents happened on Swoszowice, Kliny Borkowskie, Jugowicka and Wróblowice streets. The arsonist always left behind a note warning of more to come.
These attacks stopped as suddenly as they had started, in February this year. But by April, the district was in the grip of a spate of burglaries and thefts. Like the arson attacks, these raids occurred seemingly at random. The thieves struck at Jeleniogórska, Pustynna, Wichrowa and Fałęcka streets.
Jeleniogórska was also the site of one of the bomb attacks. The other was at Siarczana.
The newspaper Gazeta Krakowska reported that all the victims of the bombings were treated in a specialist burns unit at Rydygier Hospital in Krakow.
One victim recounted events as he remembered them – saying that he only survived because his thick clothing prevented many nails from penetrating his body.
He had gone into his garage to get his car, but found a black bag blocking his way. He moved it.
“Then came the explosion. It threw me backwards, and I couldn’t see anything. I just wanted to get out of there because of the smoke.”
The investigation into the attacks continues, and radio station RMF24 reports that the suspect is now being examined by psychiatrists.