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2 German police officers suspended over extremist shooting

Associated Press Associated Press 23/11/2016

BERLIN — Two German police officers have been suspended over their alleged contacts with an anti-government extremist who fatally wounded another officer during a raid on his home last month, authorities said Wednesday.

Prosecutors and police in Bavaria said in a statement that the two, whom they didn't identify, apparently "cultivated contacts" with the 49-year-old suspect before the Oct. 19 shooting in the town of Georgensgmuend. The two were suspended with immediate effect and their homes were searched.

The suspect opened fire on police as they tried to confiscate his weapons. Authorities had revoked his weapons license.

He was a supporter of the Reich Citizens' Movement, which refuses to acknowledge the authority of the post-war Federal Republic of Germany.

Germany's domestic intelligence agency has since started monitoring the movement.

The two suspended officers had been in contact with the suspect through smartphone chat apps for some time, news agency dpa reported. Prosecutor Alfred Huber said there's no indication that the suspect was tipped off to the police raid, but one of the suspended officers is believed to have checked in August whether the man was registered in the police computer system.

Regional police chief Johann Rast said the contacts raised "doubts about the police officers' loyalty to the constitution" and the possibility that they also were part of the Reich Citizens' Movement.

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