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German police foil 'anti-vaxxer murder plot' against st...

Newsdeck

anti-vaxxers

German police foil ‘anti-vaxxer murder plot’ against state premier

epa09490824 Saxony State Premier Michael Kretschmer arrives for a presidium meeting at the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) headquarters in Berlin, Germany, 27 September 2021. The CDU holds presidium and board meetings a day after the elections for a new federal parliament, the 20th Bundestag, took place, where about 60 million Germans were eligible to vote. According to the preliminary final result, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) of German Minister of Finance and Social Democratic Party (SPD) top candidate for the federal elections Olaf Scholz, won the elections ahead of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party chairman and top candidate for the upcoming federal elections Armin Laschet. EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN
By Reuters
15 Dec 2021 0

BERLIN, Dec 15 (Reuters) - German police said on Wednesday they had uncovered a plot by anti-vaccination activists in Saxony to murder the eastern German state's premier, adding to concerns about increasingly violent protests over plans for mandatory vaccinations.

The plan to kill Michael Kretschmer, leader of a state in which Covid-19 infection rates are among the highest in Germany and vaccination rates are the lowest, had been discussed in a group chat on messaging platform Telegram, police said.

Members of the group, called “Dresden Offlinevernetzung”, or Dresden offline network, had suggested in messages on Telegram that they might be in possession of firearms and crossbows, Saxony police said on Twitter.

After searches of several sites in Dresden, police said “the initial suspicion is confirmed”.

Protests against new restrictions on the unvaccinated and plans to make vaccinations compulsory for some groups in Germany have recently become more violent, with increased attacks on doctors, politicians and journalists.

Vaccinations will become mandatory from March 16 for people working in hospitals, nursing homes and other medical practices.

German broadcaster ARD reported on Tuesday that more than a dozen politicians, media outlets and public institutions had received letters that threatened “bloody resistance” against the measures and included a wrapped chunk of meat.

In September, a vaccination centre in Saxony was the target of an arson attack. Last month, a group of protesters gathered outside the home of Saxony’s interior minister holding lit torches, in what was seen as an implicit threat of violence.

The Telegram group of vaccination opponents in Dresden came to the attention of authorities after an investigative report by broadcaster ZDF last week. It said the group members had discussed killing Saxony state government representatives.

By Riham Alkousaa.

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa. Editing by Gareth Jones)

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