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CRIME

Hamm man threatens passersby with sword

A 25-year-old man in the western German town of Hamm was arrested Saturday after threatening a passerby with a sword, police reported.

Hamm man threatens passersby with sword
Samurai swords used in a sword attack in Berlin in 2008. Photo: DPA

The man waved the sword toward the head of a 24-year-old man who was passing by. The sword stopped just inches from the passerby’s head, while the man verbally threatened the passerby.

Witnesses identified the sword-wielding man and informed police. The man also had an axe standing next to the door of his apartment and the police also learned that he kept a fighting dog in his apartment.

The police sent a special commando unit to arrest the man. Two other men who were in the man’s apartment were also briefly detained before being released after authorities determined they had not been involved in the threats.

According to police, the 25-year-old was taken to a psychiatric clinic for examination.

Police found a collection of “chopping and stabbing weapons” in the man’s apartment, which they secured.

Saturday’s incident is the latest in a string of bizarre sword attacks in Germany. In June 2008, a drunken man attacked police with a samurai sword in Berlin, and in October of the same year, a retired man was arrested in Berlin after attacking a neighbour with a samurai sword.

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GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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