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Father arrested after German mother and son found dead in Tenerife

Spanish police found the bodies of a missing German woman and her ten-year-old son on Wednesday inside a cave on the holiday island of Tenerife after arresting the boy's father.

Father arrested after German mother and son found dead in Tenerife
Emergency workers at the end of a road leading to a cave on the island of Tenerife. Photo: DPA

The couple's other five-year-old son reportedly told police on Tuesday that he had been taken to the cave in the municipality of Adeje in the southwest of the island with his mother and brother but had managed to escape.

A couple found the boy on a mountain and then alerted the authorities who then arrested his father on Tuesday night, a Guardia Civil police force spokesman told AFP.

Officers arrested the father, 43, who is also German, in an apartment in downtown Adeje.

The spokesman did not give details as to what the boy said he had seen. The cause of death of the boy's mother and older brother had yet to be established, he added.

“The bodies were found in a mountainous area, inside a cave, between two ravines,” the spokesman said.

Local officials say everything is pointing to a case of domestic violence.

Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who faces a general election on Sunday, tweeted that “a mother and her son have been murdered. Gender-based violence has struck again… we must end this.”

Spanish daily newspaper El Pais, citing unnamed sources close to the investigation, said the woman and her two children were visiting the boys' father in Tenerife.

Tenerife, the biggest of Spain's Canary Islands located off the coast of Morocco, is especially popular with British and German tourists and expats.

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DEATH

German experts see Russian link in deadly hospital cyber attack

German authorities probing a cyber attack on a hospital's IT system that led to a fatal delay in treatment for a critically ill woman believe the software used can be traced back to Russian hackers.

German experts see Russian link in deadly hospital cyber attack
Archive photo shows Düsseldorf University Hospital. Photo: DPA

In an update to lawmakers published on Tuesday, prosecutors wrote that hackers used malware known as “Doppelpaymer” to disable computers at Düsseldorf University Hospital on September 10th, aiming to encrypt data and then demand payment to unlock it again.

The same ransomware has been used in cyber attacks around the world carried out “by a group of hackers that, according to private security firms, is based in Russia”, the report said.

The attack saw the hospital's computer system become disconnected from the ambulance network.

A severely ill woman was therefore admitted to a hospital further away in Wuppertal and died shortly afterwards.

READ ALSO: Manslaughter probe as patient dies after Düsseldorf hospital hacking attack

The longer distance that the ambulance had to travel led to an hour's delay before medical staff were able to treat her.

Cologne prosecutors last week opened an investigation into involuntary manslaughter against unknown suspects over the woman's death.

If charges are brought, it would be a rare case of a hacking with deadly consequences.

Investigators suspect that the hackers had not meant to hit the hospital, with the actual target thought to have been the affiliated Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf.

Local police were able to contact the hackers during the attack to tell them patients' lives were at risk, prompting the hackers to hand over a decryption key before breaking off communication.

Germany has seen several hacker attacks on research and higher education institutions in recent months, including the University of Giessen, the University of Cologne and the Ruhr University Bochum.

The German government has in recent years blamed Russia for several high-profile attempts by hackers to spy on lawmakers or leading politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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