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CRIME

Man injured in ‘knife and gun’ attack in Cologne

A fight between several people resulted in one man being sent to hospital with serious injuries on Monday morning.

Man injured in 'knife and gun' attack in Cologne
Police at the crime scene in Cologne. Photo: DPA.

PoliceĀ reported that a 34-year-old man was seriously injured during a fight in the early hours of Monday morning within the centre of Cologne.

Witnesses alerted police to the situation shortly before 4am, saying that several people were involved in an altercation.

At the crime scene officers found shattered glass and bloodstains as well as spent bullet cases, though they said they are still investigating whether these were related.

Witnesses said several cars were seen fleeing the scene, and the injured man was found inside his white SUV with a stabbing wound as well as head injuries. He was then taken to hospital.

The man's car also sustained damages, police said.

Officers later found several people inside a bar, who were then taken into custody for questioning. Two vehicles were also seized for the investigation.

Local newspaper Express and broadcaster WDR reported that shots had been fired during the altercation.

Police told DPA that they could not confirm reports of guns, an axe or a knife being used.

Express reported that witnesses saw three or four people arguing with another man, and that the men were all well-dressed.

Witnesses also told Express that the men had attacked one another using axes.

The man who appeared to be on his own, fighting the others, was wounded with a knife and tried to escape by running to his Mercedes. The other men then shot at him, but only hit his car.

Police said that the background of the fight is still unclear, but there is no evidence that it was a terrorist or rampage attack.

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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