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Merkel vows to investigate neo-Nazis murders

world Updated: Nov 15, 2011 00:09 IST

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has vowed to thoroughly investigate a string of murders blamed on neo-Nazis, expressing her shock at the "worst form" of terror linked to right-wing extremists.

"I think we must assume that they involve right extremist terror in the worst form and it is a disgrace that such things happen in this country," Merkel said in a TV interview.

A neo-Nazi link with the mysterious murder of nine men of Turkish and Greek origin in different German cities between 2000 and 2006 as well as the shooting of a woman police officer in 2007 came to light after the death of two members of a right-wing extremist group in a blast in their caravan in Eisenach in the eastern Thuringia state on November 4.

A woman accomplice of the two men, identified by police as 36-year-old Beate Z, against whom an arrest warrant has been issued, reportedly set on fire the same day the house they were staying in Zwickaw in the state of Saxony and surrendered to the police a few days later.

The trio belonged to the right-wing extremist group National Socialist Underground (NSU).

Investigators believe that eight men of Turkish origin and a migrant from Greece, who owned their small businesses, were "virtually executed" by the neo-nazi gang as all of them were shot on their head with the same weapon from close range.

The group is also believed to be responsible for over a dozen bank robberies as well as a series of bomb attacks in the past decade.