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CRIME

Armed teen arrested after stand-off with police

Police arrested an armed 14-year-old boy Tuesday after he opened fire with at least one weapon at his school in southern Germany, authorities said.

Armed teen arrested after stand-off with police
Photo: DPA

The teenager, who was not immediately named, allegedly fired at least one shot at his school, then fired several more times after he was tracked down to a sports field in the Bavarian town of Memmingen near Munich.

Following a tense standoff with police, he surrendered to officers, a police spokesman said. No one was injured and he was eventually taken in for psychological evaluation.

Police said the shots fired at the sports field were not deliberately aimed at them, and at one point the boy reportedly threatened to take his own life.

Media reports also said he may have been involved in a dispute with a fellow pupil or a former girlfriend. An online news channel, n-tv, said the weapons belonged to the boy’s father.

The boy had earlier charged into his school with two weapons, firing at least one shot before fleeing. No one was injured in this incident either, police said.

After the alarm was raised, all 280 pupils were told via loudspeaker to remain in their classrooms while teachers closed off the rooms.

Police special units rushed to the school and, after a search, pupils were led outside, the spokesman said. All pupils were returned to their parents safe and sound.

On March 11, 2009, a masked 17-year-old named Tim Kretschmer burst into his former school and picked off nine fellow pupils and three teachers, mostly with expert execution-style shots to the head.

A further three people lost their lives in a dramatic chase and shootout with police before Kretschmer, cornered, turned the gun on himself.

It was the worst school shooting in Germany since April 2002, when 19-year-old Robert Steinhaeuser, a disgruntled student from Erfurt in eastern Germany who had been expelled, killed 16 people and then himself.

After the massacre in Winnenden, schools put into place special drills toprevent such incidents occurring again.

AFP/jcw

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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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