Germany probes far-right extremists after killings

12th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

German prosecutors were investigating Saturday whether the murder of nine people of foreign origin and a policewoman could be linked to far-right extremists after a weapons find.

Police found a Ceska pistol in the ruins of a house in the eastern town of Zwickau where a 36-year-old suspect lived in a rented flat she blew up before turning herself in to the police.

Ballistics experts said the weapon was used in the unsolved murders of eight Turks and a Greek in restaurants throughout Germany between 2000 and 2006.

The case is now being investigated by federal prosecutors amid reports of a far-right terror network possibly masterminding the killings.

The suspect, identified as Beate Z., was wanted for questioning in the investigation of an armed robbery in the eastern Jena region on November 4.

Two suspects in the robbery, who were close to Beate Z. in the neo-Nazi scene, were found dead in a caravan shortly after. Investigators believe their death was caused by suicide.

Inside the caravan police found the firearm of a policewoman who was killed with a shot to her head in 2007.

The case made headlines across the German press Saturday.

"For the first time since reunification (in 1990) Germany faces large-scale far-right extremism," said Berlin's Tagesspiegel.

Die Welt newspaper said police was investigating whether the trio could be linked to other unsolved cases with an extremist background, such as a bomb attack at Duesseldorf train station in 2000 in which several Jews from the former Soviet Union were injured, or a bomb blast in a Turkish neighbourhood in nearby Cologne in 2004.

"Observers are already talking about a possible 'Brown Army Faction' that could be secretly at work," said the left-leaning Tageszeitung, after a now defunct "Red Army Faction" killed more than 30 people between the 1970s and 1990s.

"If these reports are confirmed it would mean that for the first time a small underground far-right group leaves such a trail of blood in Germany," the head of Germany's main GdP police union, Bernhard Witthaut, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

© 2011 AFP

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