Archive for Wednesday, February 20, 2002

World Briefs

February 20, 2002


Germany: Gunman kills three, self at workplace, school

A young German who recently lost his job shot and killed two former bosses Tuesday then took a taxi to his old high school and killed the principal and himself as hundreds of students ran for cover.

The man, believed to be 22, wore army camouflage and carried two pistols and two pipe bombs as he apparently settled old scores. None of the more than 400 students was injured.

The chief state law enforcement official, Guenter Beckstein, said the shooting spree clearly involved personal grudges, not random violence.

Police said the violence began about 8 a.m. when the man, whose identity was not made public, walked into the packaging company in Eching and shot his former boss, 38, and a foreman, 40. Both men died at the scene.

The assailant, who had kept his taxi waiting through the shootings, then took the cab 12 miles back to Freising where he began the assault on his former high school.

Afghanistan: Investigators appointed in minister's killing

The Afghan government appointed two Cabinet members Tuesday to investigate the killing of the aviation minister  a death Prime Minister Hamid Karzai has blamed on senior members of his administration.

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Abdul Rahman was killed at the Kabul airport last week. Witnesses said he was beaten to death by Islamic pilgrims enraged that their flights to Saudi Arabia had been delayed. Karzai blamed the killing on a feud among members of his own government.

Vatican City: Priest claims pope performed exorcisms

Pope John Paul has performed three exorcisms, the ancient rite of casting out demons from the souls of the possessed, during his 23 years in the Vatican, according to one of the Catholic Church's top exorcists. He performed the last one in September.

In that battle, the pope sprinkled holy water and commanded the devil to leave the body of a possessed 20-year-old woman, the Rev. Gabriele Amorth said.

But the devil still lingers within the woman, who hails from Milan, Italy, and has undergone several more exorcisms since the pope tried to banish her demon.

"It's a very serious case," Amorth told La Stampa, a well-respected Italian newspaper. "A series of curses."

The Vatican had no immediate response to Amorth's reported claims.

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