Germany issues sketch of mafia killings suspect

German police have issued a computer sketch of a man thought to be linked to the gangland-style killing of six Italian men in Duisburg this week, attributed to a mafia clan feud.

Germany issues sketch of mafia killings suspect
German police have issued a computer sketch of a man thought to be linked to the gangland-style killing of six Italian men in Duisburg this week, attributed to a mafia clan feud.

Police found the victims with gunshot wounds to the head outside an Italian restaurant near the northwestern city's central train station in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The man in the sketch was one of two men spotted near the restaurant. Witnesses reported the two fled the area at high speed in a large, dark-colored car, Duisburg police said.

A mechanic told Friday's edition of Bild newspaper he had stopped on his way home to drop off a colleague and saw two men next to the restaurant shortly before the shootings.

"They were dressed in dark clothing and one was looking through the window into the pizzeria," the mechanic, named as Michael M., told the newspaper.

"When we stopped, they moved away a touch into the shadow of the building. I only learned what had happened there the next morning and an icy shiver went down my spine."

The facial composite, or photofit, of the car's driver shows a dark-haired man, clean-shaven apart from long sideburns and with a dark mole beneath his right eye.

The man has a thin frame and stands at 180-185 centimeters or just over six feet tall.

NO SPECIFIC SUSPECT

Duisburg police said later the release of the sketch had prompted several people to come forward, although there was no evidence that pointed to any specific suspect.

Experts are still examining video surveillance footage of the crime scene. But the process has been hampered by the poor quality of the film and results are not expected until after the weekend, they said.

"The members of the murder commission are still working at full speed almost around the clock," a spokesman said.

Investigators believe the killings were the latest chapter in a long-running feud between two clans in Italy's region of Calabria, home to the 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate.

On Thursday, Italian police searched houses and set up roadblocks around San Luca, a Calabrian town of 4,000 at the centre of the feud.

Italian secret services said in a report this month that the 'Ndrangheta was the most dangerous crime syndicate in Italy and one of the world's top drug trafficking cartels.

The German authorities have said the group established a presence in Germany some years ago. Duisburg police said on Thursday a 'Ndrangheta member from San Luca was arrested in an Italian restaurant in the German city in 1991.

Local police were acting after a tip-off from the Italian authorities who were looking for the man in connection with a suspected murder. He had gone to ground in the Ruhr valley area around Duisburg.

Reuters
Last Mod: 17 Ağustos 2007, 15:35
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