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Girl’s slaying raises tensions in Austria

by The Associated Press | July 2, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

BERLIN — Austrian authorities have arrested three Afghans as suspects in the rape and killing of a 13-year-old girl, a crime that has prompted condemnation and tough talk from the country’s leader on crimes committed by migrants.

The girl’s body was found next to a tree in Vienna’s Donaustadt district Saturday. Two Afghan youths, 16 and 18, were arrested as suspects Monday. Both were asylum-seekers; the elder previously had his protected status revoked as a result of three convictions that included one for robbery.

Police said Thursday that a third man, a 23-year-old Afghan, was arrested in Vienna Wednesday evening on suspicion of involvement.

Officials have said the victim knew the first two suspects and had voluntarily accompanied them to the 18-year-old’s apartment. There, according to Vienna police chief Gerhard Puerstl, she was given drugs and “crimes against the sexual integrity” of the girl were committed.

Police say the elder of the two has denied having anything to do with the killing, while the younger hasn’t said anything.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz promised Tuesday that authorities will ensure the perpetrators are “punished with the full force of the law.”

“I find it intolerable for people [to] come to us, say they are seeking protection and then commit cruel, barbaric crimes in Austria,” he said.

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