Germany: Man tried for grenade attack on civilians in Syria

BERLIN (AP) — A man has gone on trial in Germany accused of firing a rocket-propelled grenade into a group of civilians in Syria eight years ago, killing at least seven people.

The defendant, identified only as Mouafak Al D. for privacy reasons, appeared before a Berlin regional court on Thursday charged with war crimes, seven counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and three counts of dangerous bodily harm.

Federal prosecutors say the 55-year-old Syrian fired an RPG at people lining up for food aid in the Yarmouk district of Damascus, which is home to a large population of Palestinian refugees.

In addition to at least three deaths, the attack in 2014 wounded at least three people including a 6-year-old child.

The suspect is alleged to have been a member of the Free Palestine Movement, and previously of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Palestine General Command. Between July 2013 and April 2015, the groups exerted control of the Yarmouk refugee camp on behalf of the Syrian government.

Prosecutors claim the defendant sought revenge for the killing of his nephew two days earlier during a gun battle involving members of the Free Syrian Army rebel group.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.