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CRIME

German police raid flats and offices over Vienna attack

German police said Friday they are raiding apartments and offices over possible links to the Austrian Islamic State sympathiser who went on a deadly gun rampage in central Vienna.

German police raid flats and offices over Vienna attack
A German police siren. Photo: DPA

The sites in Osnabrück, Kassel as well as in the Pinneberg area that were searched belong to four people, who “are not believed to be involved in the attack,” said the federal criminal agency (BKA).

“But there may be links to the alleged assassin,” it added on Twitter.

The searches were carried out on a request from the Austrian authorities and were aimed at “securing material that could be proof”.

“Two of the individuals are believed to have met the suspected assailant in July 2020 in Vienna,” the agency added.

The gunman, identified as 20-year-old dual Austrian-Macedonian national Kujtim Fejzulai, was killed by police after going on a shooting spree in Vienna on Monday evening that left four people dead.

Austrian police detained 14 people in the wake of the shooting, the first major attack in the country for decades and the first blamed on a jihadist.

Germany's Der Spiegel magazine had reported earlier this week that the Vienna attacker had made contact with German Islamists during an attempt to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group.

The investigation has also led to Switzerland, where prosecutors have confirmed that two Swiss men aged 18 and 24 who were arrested Wednesday had already been the targets of criminal cases over terrorism offences.

READ ALSO: Half of those arrested after Vienna attack 'had previous terrorism or violence convictions'

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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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