Germany: Synagogue photo prompts police raids on Chechens

(File photo: Reuters)
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Updated 14 January 2020

Germany: Synagogue photo prompts police raids on Chechens

  • Berlin prosecutors said some 180 officers took part in the raids at nine sites in the German capital

BERLIN: German police raided premises in four states early Tuesday on suspicion that a group of Chechens were scouting locations for a possible attack that may have included a synagogue, officials said.
Berlin prosecutors said some 180 officers took part in the raids at nine sites in the German capital and the states of Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Thuringia.
In a statement, prosecutors said the five suspects, who are aged between 23 to 28, are accused of “having scouted out locations for a possible later attack motivated by Islamism.”
“According to current information there was no concrete threat of an attack yet,” prosecutors added.
Martin Steltner, a spokesman for Berlin prosecutors, said authorities acted after discovering photographs, including of a synagogue and a shopping mall, on one suspect’s cellphone during a police check. He declined to say where the photographs were taken.
Later Tuesday prosecutors said the evidence collected so far wasn’t sufficient to justify arrest warrants against the five suspects, but that the material seized in the raids — which included knives, cash and data storage devices — was now being reviewed.
Two passers-by were killed last year when a suspected far-right extremist tried to attack a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle.


Twelve killed in Indian Kashmir violence amid virus lockdown

Updated 13 min 32 sec ago

Twelve killed in Indian Kashmir violence amid virus lockdown

  • India regularly accuses its arch-rival Pakistan of arming and sending rebels across the heavily militarised border
  • Kashmir has waged a three-decade-long armed rebellion against Indian rule with tens of thousands of lives lost in conflict

SRINAGAR: Nine suspected militants and three soldiers were killed in two separate incidents in Indian-administered Kashmir, officials said Sunday, as authorities enforced a lockdown to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kashmir, a restive region claimed by nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, had already been under a long-running curfew imposed to quell unrest as New Delhi scrapped the Himalayan valley’s semi-autonomous status on August 5.
Indian army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia said five armed militants were killed early Sunday in the northern Keran area close to the de facto border known as the Line of Control (LoC) that divides the disputed territory with Pakistan.
The clashes also left three soldiers dead and critically injured several more, he said in a brief statement.
The fighting came within 24 hours of another gunbattle between suspected rebels and government forces in the southern Kulgam area that left four dead.
Police said all four were militants from the local area.
Kashmir has waged a three-decade-long armed rebellion against Indian rule with tens of thousands of lives, mostly civilians, lost in the conflict.
India regularly accuses its arch-rival Pakistan of arming and sending rebels across the heavily militarised border. Islamabad denies the claims.

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