The Latest: Fans cheer Dortmund defender wounded in attack

April 12, 2017
Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wears a t-shirt 'A lot of strength - we are with you" for his teammate Marc Bartra who was injured after an explosion the day before prior to the Champions League quarterfinal irst leg soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco in Dortmund, Germany, Wednesday, April 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — The Latest on attack on Borussia Dortmund team bus (all times local):

7:15 p.m.

Borussia Dortmund fans have chanted the name of a defender who was wounded in the explosions that rocked their team’s bus Tuesday night.

The chants came Wednesday night at the start of the delayed Champions League quarterfinal against Monaco.

Central defender Marc Bartra was missing from Dortmund’s lineup after undergoing surgery for injuries to his wrist and arm caused when three explosions shattered a window of the team bus. The team says he will be out for several weeks.

After reading out the team list, the announcer at Dortmund’s stadium made the unusual move of announcing a player who was not playing. He shouted: “Our number five, Marc!” and the packed stadium roared the defender’s surname: “Bartra!” three times in response.

Dortmund players also paid tribute to Bartra during their warmups, wearing T-shirts emblazoned with his picture and the text “A lot of strength — we are with you.”


6 p.m.

Borussia Dortmund players have gotten a rousing ovation as they took to the pitch in their tracksuits to check out conditions more than an hour before kickoff in their Champions League quarterfinal against Monaco.

Applause rang around the BVB Dortmund stadium on Wednesday as some players emerged onto the turf less than 24 hours after three explosives detonated near their bus, injuring a defender and forcing the postponement of the first leg of Dortmund’s match against Monaco.

Fans of Monaco, grouped together in a corner of the stadium, also chanted support for Dortmund. The move drew more applause from German fans and the players.

The mutual applause was an indication of how the attack has united both teams’ fans. Some Monaco supporters stayed at the homes of strangers in Dortmund after the match initially scheduled for Tuesday was hastily pushed back a day following the attack on the bus.


5:35 p.m.

Borussia Dortmund defender Marc Bartra has taken to Instagram to assure fans that he’s “doing much better” after being hurt in the attack on his team’s bus.

After an operation, Bartra on Wednesday posted a photo of himself with a bandage wrapped around much of his right arm, and a smaller bandage around his left wrist. He made a thumbs-up gesture with his left hand.

The 26-year-old from Spain wrote: “All my strength to my team mates, supporters and fans and to @bvb09 for tonight’s match!” He thanked “everybody for all your support and your messages!”

Bartra’s wrist and arm were wounded when three explosions near the team bus broke a window on Tuesday evening. Dortmund’s Champions League quarterfinal match against Monaco was rescheduled for Wednesday.

Dortmund says Bartra won’t be able to play for several weeks.


3:55 p.m.

Borussia Dortmund says Spanish defender Marc Bartra will be out of action for “several weeks” after being wounded when his team bus was hit by three explosions while going to a Champions League match.

Dortmund said Wednesday that Bartra had to have an operation on his arm and wrist after the attack Tuesday night but says it went well. The club said the 26-year-old will watch the Champions League quarterfinal match between his team and Monaco on television Wednesday evening and “is keeping his fingers crossed for his colleagues.”

The match was originally scheduled for Tuesday evening but was pushed back a day after the attack.

Prosecutors say the explosive devices used in the bus attack contained metal pins, one of which buried its way into a headrest on the bus.


3:40 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she’s hoping for a “peaceful and good game” when Borussia Dortmund and Monaco meet in their postponed Champions League quarterfinal match.

Merkel praised the “great solidarity” shown by both teams’ fans when the match, originally scheduled for Tuesday evening, was shelved at the last minute after Dortmund’s team bus was hit by three explosions. The match will be held Wednesday evening under tight security.

Merkel on Wednesday described the attack as a “repugnant act,” the news agency dpa reported.

She added: “Our thoughts today are with the players ... with Borussia Dortmund, with the fans. And we hope that it can be a peaceful and good game.”

Merkel also spoke by phone with Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke and wished the team “all the best.”


3:10 p.m.

A top official from Monaco’s soccer club has condemned the explosions aimed at rival Borussia Dortmund’s bus and says that “football must not be taken hostage.”

Monaco vice president Vadim Vasilyev offered “all my support and friendship to Borussia Dortmund and the injured player Marc Bartra. These are revolting events that we wish we would never have experienced.”

He said some have questioned playing the Champions League game that was postponed after Tuesday night’s attack but says “football must not be taken hostage. UEFA, Borussia Dortmund and ourselves are on the same page.”

Vasilyev says the soccer community “will be stronger than this disgusting type of action.”

Monaco and Borussia Dortmund will play their Champions League game tonight under heavy security.


2:30 p.m.

German prosecutors say the explosive devices used in the attack on Borussia Dortmund’s team bus contained metal pins, one of which buried its way into a headrest on the vehicle.

Frauke Koehler, a spokeswoman for federal prosecutors, told reporters on Wednesday that “we can talk about luck that nothing worse happened.”

She says investigators are still working to determine how the devices were detonated on Tuesday night and what substance was used. Dortmund player Marc Bartra was injured in the explosions, and has had surgery on this arm and wrist.

The team bus was driving to a Champions League soccer match against Monaco when the blast occurred. The match was postponed until Wednesday evening.


2:20 p.m.

German prosecutors say a letter found near the scene of the Dortmund team bus blasts suggests a possible Islamic extremist motive for the attack, and one suspect has been taken into custody.

Frauke Koehler, a spokeswoman for federal prosecutors, said Wednesday that two suspects from the “Islamist spectrum” have become the focus of the Dortmund investigation. She says at a news conference that both of their apartments were searched and one of them has been detained.

She says the letter at the attack site demands the withdrawal of German Tornado reconnaissance jets from Turkey and the closure of the United States’ Ramstein Air Base in Germany. She said authorities are still evaluating its credibility.

Koehler says authorities have “significant doubts” about another claim online giving a left-wing extremist motive for the attack.


1:50 p.m.

A German official says that authorities are still “in the dark” about the motive for the attack on Borussia Dortmund’s team bus and don’t know whether one or several perpetrators were responsible.

Authorities are investigating a letter found near the site claiming responsibility. They haven’t given details about it but Ralf Jaeger, the interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia state, said it was “unusual” in that it didn’t offer a clear motive. He said the letter could be genuine or “an attempt to lay a false trail.”

Jaeger said Wednesday: “We are investigating in every direction ... the background is completely open and is in the dark.”

Jaeger said: “It could be left-wing extremism or right-wing extremism. It could be the violent fan scene, it could be Islamic extremism.”

Dortmund will play Monaco on Wednesday evening in the Champions League match that was hastily rearranged after Tuesday night’s explosions. Dortmund defender Marc Bartra needed surgery for injuries to this wrist and arm from the explosions.


1:10 p.m.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman is condemning the explosions targeting the Borussia Dortmund team bus as “a repugnant act” and says the German leader has spoken with the club’s chief executive.

Spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters Wednesday that Merkel was “dismayed” by the attack. He said Merkel spoke by phone with Dortmund’s Hans-Joachim Watzke and wished the team “all the best.”

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere plans to attend the rescheduled Champions League quarterfinal match against Monaco on Wednesday evening. Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate said that he was traveling to Dortmund as a sign of solidarity.

German federal prosecutors say they have taken up investigations of the attack.


12:55 p.m.

Borussia Dortmund players have taken to their own cars to get to and from a training session the morning after explosives damaged their team bus as it drove toward their Champions League semifinal against Monaco.

A second, undamaged, team bus drove into the complex after training Wednesday. While it waited next to the training pitch, a series of high-end Mercedes and other vehicles drove out. The passenger of one of the cars gave a thumbs-up to fans waiting at the roadside.

Dortmund plays Monaco Wednesday evening in the match that was hastily rearranged after Tuesday night’s explosions.

German federal prosecutors say they have taken up investigations following the attack.


11:45 a.m.

Small groups of Borussia Dortmund fans have gathered outside the team’s training ground to show their support after Tuesday’ night’s attack on the team bus as it made its way to the Champions League quarterfinal against Monaco.

Four young women drew “You’ll Never Walk Alone” in black markers on yellow cards, a message of support in Dortmund’s characteristic colors.

Annika Lentwojt, a 21-year-old engineering student, said she was in the stadium Tuesday when the match was called off.

She says: “Yesterday in the stadium I always felt safe. Of course it was a little bit scary, but I think with all the police here and police on the stadium it would be good.”


10:55 a.m.

With the help of a hashtag, Borussia Dortmund fans have opened their doors to stranded Monaco supporters after their Champions League game was called off.

The first leg of the quarterfinals was postponed by a day after the Dortmund team bus was targeted in three blasts. Dortmund defender Marc Bartra needed surgery on injuries to his wrist and arm.

Many Monaco fans had planned to return home after Tuesday’s game and were left without accommodation for the night. But using the hashtag #bedforawayfans, supporters were able to communicate on Twitter to arrange meetings and offer spare rooms or couches.

User @doerpm tweeted: “If you need a #bedforawayfans for this or next night, just ask me. Speak a little bit French and will support you.”


10:40 a.m.

Several German news media organizations are reporting that the note found after the bomb attack on the Borussia Dortmund soccer team uses radical Islamic rhetoric — but that police are not sure whether the note is genuine or an attempt to throw them off the track.

Die Welt newspaper and Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported online that the note made reference to Germany’s participation in the military coalition opposed to Islamic State. German Tornado reconnaissance planes are taking part in a noncombat role. The papers said that experts on Islam were reviewing the note to try to establish its authenticity.

Meanwhile the dpa news agency reported that investigators were probing statements found on the web that indicated a left-wing motive to punish the club for allegedly not opposing racism strongly enough.

Federal prosecutors have scheduled a statement for 1200 GMT.


10:00 a.m.

German federal prosecutors say they have taken up investigations following the attack on a bus carrying the team of Borussia Dortmund.

Spokeswoman Frauke Koehler said in a statement Wednesday that prosecutors would make a further statement about the probe at 2 p.m. (1200 GMT) in Karlsruhe.

Federal prosecutors usually take on cases that are considered to be of a serious nature, including those in which a terrorist motivation is suspected.

Investigators are examining a note found at the scene of the bombing Tuesday night but have not revealed its contents.


8:55 a.m.

German police said Wednesday they are investigating “in all directions” after three explosions went off near Borussia Dortmund’s team bus ahead of a Champions League quarterfinal match, injuring one of the soccer team’s players.

The first-leg match against Monaco was called off shortly before kickoff Tuesday evening following the blasts near the team hotel in suburban Dortmund, which authorities assume were a targeted attack. Players and police were preparing to go ahead with the rescheduled match on Wednesday evening, with heavy security in place.

Investigators were checking the authenticity of a letter claiming responsibility that they found near the scene, and were refusing to give any details of its contents, citing the ongoing probe. Another suspicious object found at the scene turned out to be trash.

Update hourly