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Germany's Merkel seeks to ease tensions with military

Associated Press logo Associated Press 10/06/2017
FILE - This March 2, 2005 file photo shows German Bundeswehr soldiers in Augustdorf, Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the country’s military is “indispensable” and deserves thanks for its service. Merkel’s praise comes as the Bundeswehr is under scrutiny over allegations of abuse, the discovery of suspected far-right extremists in its ranks and questions over its ability to fulfil its missions. In a pre-recorded video Saturday, June 10, 2017 Merkel acknowledged that “of course there were events recently that deserved to be criticized.” (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP.file) © The Associated Press FILE - This March 2, 2005 file photo shows German Bundeswehr soldiers in Augustdorf, Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the country’s military is “indispensable” and deserves thanks for its service. Merkel’s praise comes as the Bundeswehr is under scrutiny over allegations of abuse, the discovery of suspected far-right extremists in its ranks and questions over its ability to fulfil its missions. In a pre-recorded video Saturday, June 10, 2017 Merkel acknowledged that “of course there were events recently that deserved to be criticized.” (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP.file)

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel is praising the country's army as "indispensable" amid friction between military and government over the handling of a series of scandals in the Bundeswehr.

It is under scrutiny over allegations of abuse, the discovery of suspected far-right extremists in its ranks and questions over its ability to fulfil its missions.

In a pre-recorded video Saturday, Merkel said "there were events recently that deserved to be criticized."

But she insisted that "the vast majority of soldiers are performing an invaluable service."

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen angered some in the military with her sweeping criticism while investigations into alleged wrongdoing were still underway.

German weekly Der Spiegel reported Friday that the army filed a criminal complaint against an officer who jokingly called for a military putsch.

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