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Sunday, 27 February, 2000, 09:34 GMT
Racist bomber found hanged
Fuchs
Fuchs carried out 29 bomb attacks
An Austrian man who was jailed for life after waging a four-year racist letter bombing campaign is reported to have committed suicide in his cell.

Police and prison officials in Graz said Franz Fuchs was found hanged just after 1400 on Saturday (1300 GMT), according to the Austrian Press Agency.

Fuchs, who had blown off both of his hands in an explosion during his arrest in 1997, is believed to have used the cable from his electric shaver to end his life.

Reports said he was not wearing his artificial hands when his body was found.

Fuchs, 50, was sentenced to life in prison on 10 March last year after he was found guilty of 29 bomb attacks.

Deaths

In the worst attack, in 1995, four gypsies were killed by a pipe bomb device planted in the village of Oberwart in the eastern Burbenland province.

The 28 other attacks - most of which were contained in letter bombs - injured a dozen people between 1993 and 1996. Two of the victims were injured by bombs sent to Germany.

Most of the victims of Fuchs' attacks were minorities, or advocates for refugees and minorities, including former Vienna mayor Helmut Zilk, who lost his left hand after opening a letter bomb in December 1993.

Right-wing group

Police said Fuchs detonated his last bomb to kill himself in 1997 when he thought he would be arrested. The blast ripped through his car, tore off his hands and injured two police officers.

The former technician claimed to be a member of the obscure Bavarian Liberation Army, which he said wanted to reunite German-speaking peoples in Bavaria, the Alps and along the river Danube within borders that existed between the sixth and twelfth centuries.

But prosecutors insisted that Fuchs acted alone and that the mysterious right-wing group existed only in his mind.

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10 Mar 99 |  Europe
Racist bomber gets life
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