German war jets against anti-G8 protesters

BERLIN, June 12 (UPI) -- Germany has come under fire for dubious security measures taken at last week's Group of Eight summit in Heiligendamm.

Opposition politicians have been especially furious over the deployment of two reconnaissance jets usually used in Afghanistan to observe anti-globalization groups.


A day before the G8 summit was due to kick off, one of the two Panavia Tornado jets raced over a camp with several thousand anti-globalization activists -- at a flying altitude of just 160 yards. The jet took a high-resolution photo of the camp and pulled away.

The mission, which was officially confirmed by the German Defense Ministry, has outraged opposition lawmakers, with Hans-Christian Stroebele, a senior Green Party lawmaker, claiming the use of military jets was unconstitutional.

"It crosses all limits of acceptable technical help for the police, if reconnaissance fighter jets are used like in Afghanistan to spy on demonstrators," he was quoted by Spiegel Online as saying.

Berlin has sent six Tornados to Afghanistan, where they are aiding the International Security Assistance Force in its battle against the Taliban.

For the G8 summit, Germany built a $20 million security fence and sent some 16,000 police to the area around the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm, where the leaders of the world's eight richest nations met last week.


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