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CRIME

Kids playing on Rhine River find body parts in bag

Two children who were larking around on the banks of the river Rhine made a gruesome find: the carved-up body of an unknown man.

Kids playing on Rhine River find body parts in bag
The Rhine in Cologne. Photo: DPA

The kids, 12 and 14 years old, found the remains in a bin bag at the banks of the river in Cologne on Wednesday afternoon, police report.

All that was left was a torso. The head, arms and legs were all missing.

It is believed that the bag, which had been tied shut, washed ashore at the point near the Zoo Bridge where the two adolescents found it.

A man who was walking his dog along the bank at the time and also saw the body told Express: “It is a male corpse around 40-50 years old, tied up in a blue bin bag.”

Police have now started a murder investigation and the body part has been sent for a medical examination, which investigators hope will provide clues about the man's identity.

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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