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CRIME

Police probe Ikea bombing blackmail

As Ikea increases security at its stores across Europe following an explosion in its Dresden branch, police in Germany are examining a letter claiming responsibility and threatening further attacks if a substantial amount of money is not paid.

Police probe Ikea bombing blackmail
Photo: DPA

The Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten paper said on Friday it had received one letter demanding an eight-digit euro amount of money within seven days and threatening that further attacks would be carried out if the money was not handed over.

The Dresdner Morgenpost said the threat was to Ikea stores in Hannover, Hildesheim, Bremen and Göttingen, but also suggested that detectives reckoned it could be from a fraudster who had no connection with the attack in Dresden. Other attacks have been carried out in Ikea stores in Belgium, France and the Netherlands in recent weeks.

Police investigating the explosion at the Dresden Ikea which slightly hurt two people last Friday evening, turned to television this week, making an appeal on the ZDF programme Aktenzeichen XY… ungelöst (Case File xy… Unsolved) which publicises unsolved crimes.

Following the show the state criminal police received 10 further clues to the case, but said nothing had emerged that looked decisive.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from the Ikea store in Kiel on Wednesday after a member of staff found a mobile phone wrapped in sheepskin abandoned in the bedroom section of the shop. Explosives experts were called to examine the phone, but gave the all clear two hours after the evacuation, and the people were allowed back in.

A number of Ikea stores now have private security guards posted at the doors, but it remains completely unclear what they might be looking out for.

DPA/The Local/hc

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CRIME

German jailed for life in double police murder

A German man was given a life sentence on Wednesday for shooting dead two police officers to escape being caught for illegal game hunting during a routine traffic check.

German jailed for life in double police murder

The regional court in Kaiserslautern found 39-year-old Andreas Schmitt guilty of the killings in January this year, which sent shockwaves across Germany.

His co-defendant, referred to by the court as Florian V., was found guilty of abetting illegal poaching.

The 33-year-old was in the car with Schmitt when the officers discovered dead game in the boot, investigators said.

“We are all to this day horrified that a supposed routine control could turn into a fatal incident,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement after the verdict.

READ ALSO: German prosecutors say poaching led to double police murder

The victims were a 24-year-old woman police officer still in training and her colleague, a 29-year-old man.

The young woman was killed by a single shot to the head, while the man was shot four times, investigators said.

The officers were able to report that they were checking a suspicious vehicle and that shots were being fired before radio contact broke off.

When backup arrived, the woman was already dead and the man fatally injured. The perpetrators had fled the scene.

The crime in the Kusel district of Rhineland-Palatinate state triggered a major manhunt, with police deploying helicopters and sniffer dogs, sealing off roads and warning local residents not to pick up hitchhikers.

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