German police probe mysterious letter-bomb attacks on food firms

Investigators in Germany are probing a mysterious string of letter-bomb attacks on German food retail companies in recent days.

German police probe mysterious letter-bomb attacks on food firms
Lidl's headquarters in Neckarsulm, Baden-W├╝rttemberg. Photo: DPA

“We assume there is a connection,” said state prosecutors in Heidelberg in a statement after a string of mysterious attacks on a supermarket chain, a drinks company and a baby food producer earlier this week.

Further attacks were “not likely” but “could not be ruled out entirely”, they added.

Prosecutors announced Thursday the launch of a 100-person special commission to investigate the attacks.

They also confirmed that an explosive had been identified and disarmed at a parcel distribution centre at Munich airport on Wednesday night.

The parcel, which was addressed to the Bavaria-based baby food company Hipp, was the third such attack in a matter of days.

On Wednesday, three people were taken to hospital when a letter bomb exploded at the German headquarters of discount supermarket Lidl.

Around 100 people were evacuated from the administrative building at the company's head offices in Neckarsulm, western Germany.

A similar explosion was also reported in nearby Eppelheim at the Wild drinks company, whose products include Capri-Sun brand.

According to national news agency DPA, Germany's food federation had also warned its members to remain vigilant when receiving post.

READ ALSO: Three injured in explosions at Lidl's German headquarters

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French thieves nab metal parts of German artist Anselm Kiefer’s sculpture

Thieves have stolen parts of a lead sculpture by German contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer from a warehouse in France, representing a loss of more than $1 million, a prosecutor said on Friday.

French thieves nab metal parts of German artist Anselm Kiefer's sculpture

Kiefer, 78, is renowned for his bleak sculptures and installations confronting his country’s Nazi past and selling for millions on the market. Several of his works have featured oversized lead books.

The burglars broke into the grounds of the artist’s warehouse in the town of Croissy-Beaubourg east of Paris on Thursday before dawn, the prosecutor in nearby town of Meaux, Jean-Baptiste Bladier, said.

“CCTV footage showed four individuals breaching the car park barrier, entering the premises and cutting through the steel fence surrounding the work, before making off with lead books that were part of it,” he said.

“The artist has estimated damage of more than $1 million.”

The theft is the latest targeting the contemporary art icon, with previous burglaries thought to have aimed to monetise the value of the lead he uses, rather than the art pieces themselves.

Another such robbery at the same site in 2016 saw the artist suffer some $1.5 million in losses, while security guards chased away would-be plunderers
in 2019.

Kiefer starred in a 3D documentary by German director Wim Wenders titled “Anselm” that premiered out of competition at the last Cannes film festival.