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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Germany’s Rammstein facing calls to cancel Swiss concerts

Women's rights groups and political organisations on Friday demanded the cancellation of Rammstein's forthcoming concerts in Switzerland following multiple sexual assault allegations made against the German metal band's frontman.

Germany's Rammstein facing calls to cancel Swiss concerts

Rammstein are scheduled to play two sold-out gigs at the Wankdorf Stadium in the Swiss capital Bern on June 17 and 18, as part of their current European tour.

Several women have come forward recently to claim they were drugged and recruited to engage in sexual activity with singer Till Lindemann, 60, at Rammstein after-show parties.

Lawyers representing Lindemann categorically denied the allegations on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Rammstein frontman denies sexual assault allegations

Young Socialists Switzerland (JS), the Social Democratic Party’s youth movement, launched a petition urging the promoters to call off the Bern gigs.

“Maintaining the concerts means that the organiser is clearly behind Rammstein, which sends a very bad signal to those affected,” the petition said.

“We ask the concert organiser Gadget ABC to draw the necessary conclusions in this situation, to cancel the Rammstein concerts in Bern and to refund the ticket price to the spectators in full.”

Also backing the call were Brava, a non-governmental organisation against violence against women; feminist peace organisation CFD; and SP Frauen Schweiz, a progressive social democratic feminist movement.

“These accusations of sexual assault must be taken seriously,” said JS vice president Thomas Bruchez.

The only responsible thing to do in this context is to cancel the concerts,” he told Switzerland’s ATS news agency on Friday.

Blick newspaper reported that the Feminist Strike Collective Bern was considering possible action outside the stadium.

Rammstein, an industrial metal band founded in 1994, is known for grinding guitar riffs, taboo-breaking antics and theatrical stage shows heavy on pyrotechnics.

Their songs have dealt with subjects from cannibalism to necrophilia and the band name itself evokes the 1988 Ramstein air show disaster that killed 70 people and injured more than 1,000.

READ ALSO: German rockers Rammstein slammed over ‘repulsive’ Holocaust video clip

A young Irish woman posted on social media that she had been drugged and propositioned by Lindemann at a backstage party in Vilnius.

A wave of similar stories has since emerged recently through platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

German newspaper Die Welt reported on Tuesday that Alena Makeeva, a Russian woman accused of recruiting young women to engage in sexual practices with Lindemann, had been banned from all further Rammstein concerts.

READ ALSO: Who are Rammstein and why are they so big in Germany?