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CRIME

‘One dead and two injured’ in Germany machete attack

A 21-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker killed a woman and injured two people with a machete Sunday in the southwest German city of Reutlingen in an incident local police said did not bear the hallmarks of a "terrorist attack".

'One dead and two injured' in Germany machete attack
News channel NTV said there were scenes of panic in the city centre following the attack. Photo: DPA

“At this stage of the enquiry we have nothing to indicate this was a terrorist attack,” police said following the attack around 4:30 pm near the bus station of the city of some 100,000 near Stuttgart.

The statement added that the man, who was arrested, “had a dispute” with the woman and killed her “with a machete” before injuring a second woman and a man.

The attacker was “known to police”, it said.

“According to the information available, the perpetrator acted alone, the people of Reutlingen and its surroundings are very probably not in danger,” the statement added.

News channel NTV said there were scenes of panic in the city centre following the attack, which came just two days after a German-Iranian teenager killed nine people and injured 19 others in Munich, Germany's third-largest city, before committing suicide.

The 18-year-old Munich attacker is believed to have been “obsessed” with mass killers such as Norwegian fanatic Anders Behring Breivik and had no links to the Islamic State jihadist group.

The carnage in Munich came just four days after a teenage asylum seeker went on a rampage with an axe and a knife on a regional train near the southern city of Würzburg, injuring five people.

German authorities said the Würzburg attacker was believed to be a “lone wolf” who was “inspired” by Islamic State without being a member of the network.

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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