Explosion Near Bus of German Football Club Dortmund Injures Player

At least one person was injured in "an attack using serious explosives" on the bus taking the German football club Borussia Dortmund to their Champions League quarter-final first-leg match against Monaco on Tuesday, the German club said.

The BBC reported that defender and Spanish international Marc Bartra was injured, and was taken to a nearby hospital to remove glass and shrapnel that were embedded in his hand as a result of the blast.

Marc Bartra. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/Marc Bartra)

Police chief said investigators assume German football team was the target of explosives that rocked bus. A German prosecutor also said that a letter was found near the bus which "takes responsibility for the act.”

The game has been postponed, and will be played on Wednesday at 18:45 CET (11:15 IST)

The bus was hit by three blasts from devices planted in bushes at the roadside close to the team's hotel, as the vehicle made its way to a quarter-final first leg Champions League game at home to AS Monaco. The match was called off and rescheduled for Wednesday.

German police said on Tuesday they did not know who was behind the attack, in which three explosions went off at 7:15 pm near the hotel where the team was staying, but said the team appeared to be the target.

Roman Burki, Dortmund goalkeeper The bus turned into the main street when there was a huge boom, a real explosion. I was sitting in the back row next to Marc Bartra, hit by fragments... after the bang, we all ducked.

North Rhine-Westphalia police spokesman Gunnar Wortmann told The Associated Press on Tuesday that there were "three explosions near the team bus as they left the hotel to go to the stadium" and that "there was one player injured inside and damage to a window."

The stadium, which is the largest in Germany and holds more than 80,000 spectators, emptied quickly and without incident.

Police Spokesman The explosive devices were placed outside the bus. Several windows were broken.

The incident took place in the Hoechsten district of the of the city of Dortmund.

Bartra, 26, joined Dortmund for eight million euros ($8.5 million) last year from Barcelona, after coming through the Catalan club's youth system. He has made 12 appearances for the Spanish national team.

According to Dortmund’s spokesman, Bartra was undergoing operation for broken bone in his hand.

Dortmund's managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke was quoted by Sky:

The whole team is in a state of shock, we hope to be competitive tomorrow.

Police added: "Currently there is no evidence of a threat to the visitors at the stadium."

AS Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic told Croatian newspaper 24sata: "We are currently in the stadium, in a safe place, but the feeling's horrible."

Dortmund and UEFA later said that the match would go ahead on Wednesday at 1645 GMT (1845 local time).

(With inputs from media agencies.)

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