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Hunt for killer of five in forests

POLICE IN three countries were searching yesterday for the deranged killer of five people, who was believed to be hiding in remote forests near the French, German and Luxembourg borders.

The fugitive, provisionally identified as Gunter Hermann Ewen, 36, murdered the five people, including a British woman, in a series of shootings in Germany and France on Sunday. He was believed to have fled on foot into thick woodland east of the town of Sierck-les-Bains, close to the point where the frontiers of the three countries converge.

Despite a search by hundreds of policemen, using helicopters, dogs and all-terrain vehicles, there was no sign of the fugitive last night. The killer, armed with a magnum 357 revolver, abandoned a stolen Peugeot 106 close to the forests at 7am on Sunday. There have been no further reports of him. The area at the centre of the search is mostly woodland, punctuated by isolated farms and rocky outcrops with caves.

Mr Ewen is described as plump and blond, six feet tall, with a record of violent crime in Germany. For reasons unknown, he burst into a disco in Dillingen in Germany at 4am on Sunday and began shooting with a pump- action rifle. The manager and a customer were killed and four others injured.

He then forced his way into an apartment where he killed a Frenchman, Robert Fisne, 37, and his Jamaican-born British wife, Joey. The couple's 11-year-old daughter was also shot and injured seriously.

Two hours later, Mr Ewen crashed his car near the small spa town of Sierck-les-Bains across the border in France.

He held up a motorist at gunpoint and hijacked his Peugeot 106, before breaking into a house and murdering a 39-year-old Frenchman.