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CRIME

Father blows himself up in car after family row

A father blew himself up in a car following a domestic dispute, police in Homberg, Hesse, said on Sunday.

Father blows himself up in car after family row
Photo: DPA
Seven people, including two police officers, were injured in the blast that threw the vehicle into the air. 
 
Multiple houses and cars were damaged in the explosion, including two police vehicles. Dozens of officers and multiple ambulances were called to the aftermath.  
 
"There's nothing left of the car that exploded. The engine flew 30 metres," a police spokesman said.
 
The full cost of the damage has yet to be determined. Houses as far as 500 metres from the blast were also hit by debris. 
 
Police were called to the scene when the 49-year-old, who worked with explosives, threatened to harm his family late on Saturday night. Following the argument, he drove off. The wife and one of his daughters went to the neighbours. The other daughter was not at home at the time.
 
Police were waiting as the man came back home. It was then that he detonated the car, sending it up into the air. 
 
Photo: DPA
 
What drove the man to take such drastic action is not yet clear. 
 
"The people here are in shock and we haven't been able to question anybody," police spokesperson Wolfgang Keller said. 
 
The neighbourhood has since been evacuated and the city of Homberg has provided housing for those affected. Police are warning those in the area not to use mobile phones for fear that unspent fuses could lead to further damage. 
 
 

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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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