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CRIME

Several injured after stolen truck slams into cars in Hesse

A stolen truck ploughed into several cars in the centre of the German city of Limburg leaving a number of people injured, police said Tuesday, adding that the driver had been detained.

Several injured after stolen truck slams into cars in Hesse
A stolen truck plowed into several cars in

Police said it was too soon to speculate about a motive for the incident, which began when a man seized the truck at 5:20 pm on Monday.

“We currently do not have sufficient information about what was behind it,” the police said.

The white articulated lorry slammed into around nine cars waiting at a traffic light opposite the courthouse in Limburg in western Hesse state, crushing them together.

Police said around a dozen people were slightly injured, including the driver of the stolen vehicle, and one seriously injured. Police have arrested the suspect, who is Syrian and has lived in Germany since 2015, reported DPA.

Police staged a major deployment of officers and vehicles, with a helicopter circling overhead the city of 35,000, about an hour's drive from Germany's financial capital of Frankfurt.

The site was cordoned off by police and brightly lit up as tow trucks removed the damaged cars one by one.

The scene after the crash. Photo: DPA

'Didn't say a word'

The original driver of the truck, who was not named, was quoted by daily Frankfurter Neue Presse (FNP) as saying a man had “dragged” him out of his lorry.

He said the man, in his 30s with short dark hair and a full beard, had yanked open the driver-side door and stared at him wide-eyed before forcing him out of the vehicle.

“I asked him 'What do you want from me?',” he told FNP. “He didn't say a
word.”

The truck sped into the parked cars a few hundred metres (yards) further on and came to a stop on the central reservation of a six-lane road.

When the man behind the wheel of the truck emerged from the crash, several passers-by provided first aid, FNP said.

“The passers-by said the driver said 'Allah' several times” and spoke Arabic, FNP reported.

Police did not confirm this account.

Bettina Yeisley from Limburg, whose office is next to the scene of the crash, told FNP that she heard a loud bang and ran out onto the street with colleagues.

They found the man sitting beneath a tree, without knowing the circumstances.

“He was bleeding from the nose, his hands were bloody, his trousers torn.
He said that everything hurt. I asked him his name and he said, 'My name is Mohammed'.”

Authorities urged users of social media not to jump to conclusions on the
motive.

“We are not ruling anything out,” a spokesman for the state police force said, quoted by DPA said. “But we call on you: don't take part in speculation!” the regional police wrote in several tweets.

Germany has been on alert following several jihadist attacks in recent years claimed by the Islamic State group.

The most deadly was committed in 2016 by 23-year-old Tunisian Anis Amri, who killed 12 people when he stole a truck and ploughed it through a Berlin Christmas market.

The Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany's domestic security watchdog, warned in April of an increased risk posed by IS fighters returning from Syria and northern Iraq.

Its director Thomas Haldenwang said that an estimated 2,240 Islamists with
“terrorist potential” were living in Germany.

Last Thursday in neighbouring France, a Muslim convert who had reportedly started adopting increasingly radical beliefs stabbed four colleagues to death at Paris police headquarters.

Member comments

  1. Why can’t all religions live in peace? Why do people feel the need to always have the last word? While others want to live and get on with their lives, others feel the need to destroy and bring terror. It’s a shame, since our lives are nothing but a short flash…

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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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