A man has died in an asylum centre in central Germany after allegedly attempting to set his wife ablaze, police said. The man's wife was left seriously injured by the attack, and the refugee centre in Ruedesheim in the central state of Hesse was damaged by fire, AFP reported.

The couple were separated, and she was taken to hospital by helicopter after the attack, authorities said.

The 45-year-old man, whose nationality has not been revealed, was known to police. Two other people were injured by the fire in the shelter, which houses 14 people.

More than one million refugees entered Germany in 2015, many fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. The authorities have been forced to accommodate refugees in sports centres, barracks, and municipal buildings, with overcrowding sparking conflict.

In June, two asylum seekers were accused of torching a refugee centre near Duesseldorf following a row about mealtimes during Ramadan.