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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020
Police officers positioned outside a wooded area near Oppenau on Monday.   -   Copyright  Sven Kohls/dpa via AP

German authorities are performing a large-scale manhunt for a suspect who disarmed four police officers and made off with their weapons.

Hundreds are officers are involved in the search for a 31-year-old man in the Black Forest region near Offenburg.

The man is "most likely armed" with a bow and arrows, as well as a knife and pistol, say police.

The suspect, who has no fixed abode, is known to police for previous illegal firearms offences.

Police say the suspect had disarmed four officers at gunpoint on Sunday morning in Oppenau and fled into the forest with various weapons, wearing camouflage clothing.

The man is said to have initially cooperated when he was approached by police, before "massively threatening" them to put down their guns.

"Suddenly, and completely unexpectedly for the officers, he pulled out a firearm and threatened the investigators, leaving them no time to react to the dangerous situation," Offenburg police said.

No-one was injured in the exchange, which occurred around 30 kilometres from Germany’s border with France.

Police assume the suspect is familiar with the wooded areas and terrain around Oppenau and has gone into hiding.

Authorities have warned residents to stay indoors while officers, supported by tactical teams, sniffer dogs and helicopters, combed the surrounding area.

German air traffic control had also issued a ban on flights and drones within a radius of three nautical miles of Oppenau.

A pre-trial arrest warrant has been issued for the suspect at the request of the Offenburg public prosecutor, due to "urgent suspicion of particularly serious predatory extortion in deliberate unlawful possession of a firearm"


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