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Man who allegedly fired grenade into crowd faces German war crimes charges

A man who allegedly launched a grenade into a crowd of people in Syria has been charged with war crimes and murder in Germany, say prosecutors …

Man who allegedly fired grenade into crowd faces German war crimes charges
14.04.2022 21:56
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A man who allegedly launched a grenade into a crowd of people in Syria has been charged with war crimes and murder in Germany, say prosecutors.

At least seven people were killed in Damascus when the man allegedly fired the explosive device at a group of civilians as they waited for food in 2014.

In a statement, German federal prosecutors said that the stateless man, who cannot be identified due to German privacy rules, launched a grenade from an anti-tank weapon into a crowd at Rejeh Square in the Yarmouk district of the Syrian capital.

They were waiting for humanitarian food aid from UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

The attack, which took place on 23 March, 2014, killed at least seven civilians and wounded three others, including a six-year-old child.

Prosecutors said the man was a member of the Free Palestine Movement, which at the time controlled the Yarmouk district on behalf of Syria’s President Bashar Assad.

Yarmouk, which began as a Palestinian refugee camp, was cordoned off by the Syrian government from July 2013 to April 2015, causing shortages of food, water and medical supplies.

At a regional court in Berlin, the man was charged with war crimes, seven counts of murder, three of attempted murder and three of bodily harm.

Prosecutors didn’t say how he ended up in Germany. The man was first arrested in Berlin on 4 August.

Germany’s rule of “universal jurisdiction” allows the prosecution of serious crimes committed abroad.

It led to the conviction of a senior Syrian colonel for crimes against humanity in a historic trial in January.

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