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CRIME

Five German tourists kidnapped in Egypt

Five German tourists have been kidnapped in Egypt, the Foreign Ministry in Berlin confirmed on Monday.

Five German tourists kidnapped in Egypt
A file photo of southern Egypt. Photo: DPA

“We must assume that they were kidnapped,” a spokesperson said, adding that an emergency task force was working to find a quick solution to the situation.

The vacationers were abducted along with five Italians and a Romanian tourist in a remote desert in southwestern Egypt on Friday, an Egyptian security official told state television on Monday.

The group was on a safari in the Sahara Desert near Kark-Talh when their vehicles were stopped by masked men with weapons and taken towards Sudan, according to Egyptian sources. The kidnappers are demanding $15 million for the release of the hostages, news agency DDP reported, a figure the German Foreign Office has not yet confirmed.

“Four masked gunmen attacked the four cars they were riding and led them towards Sudanese territory at gunpoint,” the state MENA news agency quoted an unnamed official as saying.

The tourism ministry said the kidnapping happened on Friday but authorities only became aware when the tour company owner, who is among the missing, used a satellite telephone to call his German wife and tell her of the ransom demand.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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