After taking hostages at Synagogue, attacker moves to new prison

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BERLIN (AP) — A far-right extremist who killed two people in the German city of Halle three years ago after attempting to attack a synagogue has been moved to a new prison hundreds of kilometers (miles) away after an apparent jailbreak attempt last week.

Stephan Balliet (30), was taken under strict guard to the Augsburg Gablingen prison in Bavaria on Tuesday morning.

Balliet took two guards hostage Dec. 13 At the Burg high security prison, near Magdeburg. According to authorities, he was overthrown within one hour by other guards. The incident left him with injuries, but the hostages were uninjured.

Officials from Saxony-Anhalt state security said that they believed Balliet was trying to escape the prison because of what he could be heard on surveillance footage.

Armed with multiple firearms and explosives, Balliet attacked the synagogue in Halle on Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day, in 2019. Balliet killed one passer-by and another man in a nearby fast-food joint after failing to open the synagogue’s doors.

Germany was shocked by the antisemitic attack. It has attempted to make amends for the Holocaust, and to protect Jews who returned home after World War II.

Balliet attempted to flee another prison while he was still being tried. Balliet was sentenced in 2020 to life imprisonment.

Germany’s top security official called on the country’s prison operators to review their security measures after last week’s hostage taking.

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