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CRIME

Thieves pilfer cash machine with a bang

A window rattling boom woke up residents of Elmenhorst in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania early on Friday after thieves used explosives to boost a bank's cash machine.

Thieves pilfer cash machine with a bang
Photo: Stralsund police

Police from the nearby city of Stralsund reported two men in white overalls “deposited” a bomb at a cash machine. After the ATM exploded, the crooks picked up the money and fled in a small transporter that was parked directly in front of the bank.

There weren’t many details known yet and police continue their investigation. ”We don’t know much at this moment but specialists are working on it in the lab to find out what kind of material they used,” police spokesperson Officer Grotzky told The Local on Friday. “All we know yet is that it was quite a big boom.”

The front building of the bank suffered serious damage after the impact of the explosion burst windows and even curved some structural beams inside the bank building.

This isn’t the first time thieves tried to get their hands on some money by blasting open a cash machine, according to police.

“People are very creative when, let’s say, they don’t have a bank card. It’s usually a gang that does that kind of stuff,” said Grotzky.

GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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