Intelligence officials: all Yemen hostages dead

German intelligence services believe that all nine hostages taken in Yemen have been killed by al-Qaida, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday.

Intelligence officials: all Yemen hostages dead
Photo: DPA

The paper said the country’s intelligence services are basing their conclusions on the “brutality” of the kidnappers.

“The Germans are particularly in al-Qaida’s line of fire. Al-Qaida is intensifying things. We should prepare ourselves for additional deaths,” an unnamed official was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Several television stations said late Monday that all nine kidnap victims had been killed, although no official announcement of deaths has yet been made.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Tuesday that the government “has to assume” at least two German women missing are dead.

Steinmeier said that three bodies were found in northern Yemen near where

the group was last seen. The German embassy in Sanaa despatched a staff member and reported back to a crisis team in Berlin.

“We unfortunately have to assume that two German women who had been missing are among the dead,” he told reporters in Berlin.

Three female hostages, two Germans and one South Korean who were kidnapped along with six other foreigners, were found dead in northern Yemen on Monday, an official at the Interior Ministry said.

Earlier, Yemeni security officials said seven foreign hostages including a child have been found murdered, the first time in a decade that such kidnappings had resulted in deaths.

The authorities had accused Shiite Zaidi rebels in Saada of seizing seven Germans, a British engineer and a South Korean woman teacher. Among the hostages were three German children. The rebels denied the charge.


101-year-old former Nazi guard pleads innocent in German trial

A 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard on Monday once again denied being complicit in war crimes during the Holocaust as his trial drew to a close in Germany.

101-year-old former Nazi guard pleads innocent in German trial

Josef Schütz, the oldest person so far to face trial over Nazi crimes during World War II, is accused of involvement in the murders of 3,518 prisoners at the Sachsenhausen camp in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, between 1942 and 1945.

The pensioner, who now lives in Brandenburg state, has pleaded innocent throughout the trial, saying he did “absolutely nothing” and was not aware of the gruesome crimes being carried out at the camp.

“I don’t know why I am here,” he said again at the close of the proceedings, his voice wavering.

Dressed in a grey shirt and pyjama bottoms and sitting in a wheelchair, Schütz insisted he had had nothing to do with the atrocities and was “telling the truth”.

READ ALSO: Ex-Nazi death camp secretary who fled trial to face court in Germany

Prosecutors say he “knowingly and willingly” participated in the crimes as a guard at the camp and are seeking to punish him with five years behind bars.

But Schütz’s lawyer, Stefan Waterkamp, said that since there were no photographs of him wearing an SS uniform, the case was based on “hints” of his possible involvement.

“As early as 1973, investigators had information about him but did not pursue him. At the time, witnesses could have been heard but now they are all dead or no longer able to speak,” Waterkamp said.

Former Nazi guard

The 101-year-old former Nazi guard covers his face at the Neuruppin courthouse. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Sommer

It would be a mistake for the court to try to “make up for the mistakes of a previous generation of judges”, the lawyer said.

Antoine Grumbach, 80, whose father died in Sachsenhausen, told AFP Schuetz “does not want to remember”, calling it “a form of defence”.

The trial was not just about “putting a centenarian in prison”, he said. It had also produced evidence that Sachsenhausen was an “experimental extermination camp”.

“All the cruellest methods were invented there and then exported,” Grumbach said.

READ ALSO: Trials of aging Nazis a ‘reminder for the present’, says German prosecutor