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CRIME

Body found at Spanish lake likely missing German boy

Mystery surrounds the fate of a five-year-old German boy whose body is believed to have been found at a Spanish lake on Friday.

Body found at Spanish lake likely missing German boy
Photo: DPA

Spanish police announced they had found a body, which fit the description of the boy missing at least since Tuesday – though how the boy died remains uncertain.

The police refused to confirm it was the boy, but daily Bild reported the clothes matched what the boy was wearing when he disappeared.

His mother, named by Bild as Tanja K. from North Rhine-Westphalia, was found on Tuesday in the nearby town of Espiel, north of Cordoba, in a state of shock and disorientation, suffering from cuts, bruises and dehydration.

Prior to that, the boy and his mother had been seen camping, swimming and fishing at the Puente Nuevo lake. Tanja K. told Spanish police she had driven a week ago with her son from Germany into Spain. But she was unable to explain her condition, nor give her son’s whereabouts.

Bild reported that local residents had seen the mother and the boy camping and fishing on Sunday and had also seen a boy walking hand-in-hand with a bald man.

Other witnesses said she asked residents for help on Monday because her car had broken down. The car was found late Tuesday near a religious shrine.

Spanish police had been searching since Tuesday for the boy, eventually using divers, sniffer dogs and a helicopter.

Temperatures in the region soar to 40 degrees Celsius at this time of year.

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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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