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CRIME

Arsonists attack Rhineland synagogue

Unknown arsonists attacked a synagogue in Worms on Sunday night, police in the Rhineland-Palatinate city said on Monday.

Arsonists attack Rhineland synagogue
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

According to initial investigation the building was doused in flammable liquid at several points and set alight, the spokesperson said.

A resident alerted police to the fire at the synagogue on the Judengasse, which is reportedly not under constant surveillance.

Fire fighters in the city were able to put out the blaze quickly, and the building was not heavily damaged. The walls were however blackened by soot, a fire department spokesperson said.

The police search for the perpetrators has been unsuccessful so far. Officers have engaged in a widespread investigation and have called for witnesses to step forward, police said.

There were no injuries in the arson attack.

The city of Worms has called the stone building, built in 1034, one of Germany’s oldest synagogues. After being destroyed by the Nazis in 1938 the building was restored between 1958 and 1961.

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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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