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CRIME

US files charges in airport shooting

US prosecutors have filed murder charges against a Kosovo Albanian man accused of shooting dead two US airmen on a bus at Frankfurt airport in Germany.

US files charges in airport shooting
Photo: DPA

Arid Uka, 21, allegedly approached a bus at the airport on March 2 and asked in English if it was carrying Americans before shooting dead the driver and a passenger and wounding two other US Air Force personnel.

“As Uka fired his gun, he repeated aloud an Arabic expression that means ‘God is great,’ and continued shooting until his gun did not fire,” read a statement put out by federal prosecutors in New York.

The US complaint accused Uka of two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of using a firearm in a violent crime and a fifth count of committing a deadly act at an international civil airport.

Uka is currently detained in Germany, where he faces similar charges over what has been described as the first Islamic extremist attack on German soil.

German prosecutors believe Uka carried out the attack to avenge what he saw as atrocities by US troops in Afghanistan but have said they are not aware of links between him and terror groups.

The killings have had ramifications for American military personnel in Germany. Security was ramped up in their wake and soldiers were ordered not to wear their uniforms in public.

It was not immediately clear whether the charges filed in New York indicated that Uka could face trial in the United States.

AFP/mdm

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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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