Police raids in Berlin fail to find two Red Army Faction fugitives

<span>Burkhard Garweg (L), Ernst-Volker Wilhelm Staub and Daniela Klette were members of the Red Army Faction, which disbanded in 1998.</span><span>Photograph: DPA/AFP</span>
Burkhard Garweg (L), Ernst-Volker Wilhelm Staub and Daniela Klette were members of the Red Army Faction, which disbanded in 1998.Photograph: DPA/AFP

The renewed German police hunt for two alleged members of the Red Army Faction, previously known as the far-left militant Baader-Meinhof gang, who have been on the run for more than 30 years, will continue after an operation in Berlin failed to find the suspects.

Special armed police units launched raids in the Markgrafendamm area of Berlin at 7.30am on Sunday in a search for Ernst-Volker Staub, 69, and Burkhard Garweg, 55.

In an indication of the intensity of the search, 130 officers were involved in the raids and 10 people were detained. All were released after their identities had been checked, the Lower Saxony state criminal police office (LKA) said.

LKA, which is in charge of the investigation, said shots were fired “in relation to the opening of a door” and that no injuries resulted.

Last Monday a third member of the Red Army Faction, Daniela Klette, 65, was arrested in Berlin.

Police had offered a reward of €150,000 (£128,000) for any information leading to the whereabouts of the three, and a TV appeal led to 250 tipoffs.

The Baader-Meinhof gang, named after its founding members, Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, was behind attacks including kidnappings and murders in what was then West Germany in the 1970s and 1980s.

It is believed that since the Red Army Faction disbanded in 1998, Klette and the two fugitives have been financing their lives on the run through robberies of money transporters and supermarket cash heists.

According to reports in the German news magazine Der Spiegel, Garweg is said to have stayed frequently in a construction trailer on the site that was raided on Sunday. The LKA refused to comment on this.

Klette, the only woman tagged as “dangerous” on Europol’s most wanted list, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and various serious robberies between 1999 and 2016.

After the breakthrough, police said they believed the two remaining fugitives were also hiding in Berlin. On Saturday they published new photos that they said were likely to be recent images of Garweg in his private environment, including one of him sitting between two dogs.

Police said it could not be ruled out that Garweg and Klette had maintained “personal and direct” contact.