German nuclear activists say behind train chaos

2nd November 2010, Comments 0 comments

German activists claimed responsibility Tuesday for causing major disruption on Berlin's public transport, as they stepped up their campaign against plans to postpone the abandonment of nuclear power.

A group calling itself the Kommando Sebastien Briard said that it had set fire to a cable on the capital's local train network on Sunday night, causing misery for commuters that was still ongoing two days later.

"We will attack you where you least expect it," the group said in a statement published on the Internet.

"The widespread disruption to (German rail operator) Deutsche Bahn was planned and is aimed at showing that the atomic mafia has nowhere to hide."

Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right government wants to extend the lifetime of Germany's 17 reactors by up to 14 years beyond a scheduled shutdown of around 2020.

The lower house of parliament passed a bill to this effect last week. But the legislation could still face a tough fight in the upper house, where Merkel's alliance lost its majority in May, as well as court challenges.

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Berlin in September against the extension, and protesters have warned of more to come, including this coming weekend against a shipment of radioactive nuclear waste from France.

The militant group is named after a 22-year-old French protestor who was killed by a train transporting nuclear waste in 2004 after chaining himself to the track, although his name was spelled Sebastien Briat.

It also said that it set fire to a car owned by Siemens, the German industrial giant and leader in nuclear power technology, in Berlin overnight Sunday to Monday. German police declined to comment.

© 2010 AFP

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