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CRIME

Grenade disguised as toy left on supermarket shelf

A hand grenade disguised as a toy and placed at child’s eye level on the shelf of a supermarket could have killed someone, say German prosecutors investigating it as an attempted murder.

Grenade disguised as toy left on supermarket shelf
Photo: DPA

A security guard working at the Real supermarket in Wetzlar near Frankfurt, spotted the grenade on the toy aisle, and called police who evacuated the shop.

Around 50 officers searched the supermarket while experts removed the grenade for examination.

It was “most probably functional,” said a spokesman for Hessen state prosecutor. He suggested that whoever had hidden the hand grenade was intending for it to go off.

He told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily newspaper, “sadly we have assume he actively wanted to hurt children,” because the grenade was disguised as a toy and hidden among other toys.

Detectives are examining footage from the supermarket’s security cameras in the hunt for clues, but the public prosecutor spokesman said not all aisles were covered.

He admitted they were completely in the dark about who put the grenade there, and that “the motive of the attacker is unclear.” He added that the case was being treated as attempted murder.

The Local/jcw

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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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