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German police conduct raids in Saxony over 'anti-vaxxer murder plot'

The raids occured in Saxony, Germany.
The raids occured in Saxony, Germany.

German police searched several locations in the eastern state of Saxony on Wednesday as part of an investigation into what they said was a plot to murder the state's prime minister, Michael Kretschmer, by anti-vaccination activists.

The searches in the city of Dresden targeted individual members of a group on the messaging programme Telegram, where plans for the killing were discussed in connection with the state government's coronavirus curbs, police said.

The group "Dresden Offlinevernetzung", or Dresden offline networking, came to the attention of authorities after an investigation published last week by broadcaster ZDF.

The ZDF report revealed that members of the Telegram group spoke about killing representatives of the Saxony state government at meetings in Dresden.

Special forces took part in Wednesday's raids launched after statements by members of the Telegram group suggested that they might be in possession of sharp weapons and crossbows, Saxony police said on Twitter.

Saxony, which has the second highest rate of new coronavirus cases in Germany and the lowest vaccination rate, has seen protests by opponents of coronavirus restrictions in recent weeks.

Last month, a group of protesters held a torch-lit gathering outside the home of Saxony's interior minister, in what was widely seen as an implicit threat of violence against her.

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