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CRIME

Missing German tourist sparks French manhunt

Blood left on stairs leading to the Rhône River have French search and rescue teams combing the banks and rivers for a missing German tourist.

Missing German tourist sparks French manhunt
File photo of a French rescue helicopter. Photo:DPA

French authorities are using helicopters, diver teams and sniffer dogs to look for the woman in her sixties.

“The helicopter has flown along the Rhône to the sea for the possibility that we see a floating body there,” said a spokesperson for the French police.

Shortly after her disappearance, her husband, 66, was stabbed in the hands, abdomen and neck by a man he described as being between the ages of 40 and 50. The husband is currently recovering in hospital in Arles.

The bizarre attack happened shortly after noon Thursday near the commune of Tarascon, 20 kilometres south of Avignon. The couple was vacationing in the area when they paused at a rest stop. When the wife didn’t return, the husband went to look for her when he found blood on the steps leading to the river bank. It was then that he was attacked.

No further details on the couple or their alleged attacker have been released.

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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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