Dutch man shot in German border town in targeted attack

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BERLIN (AP) — A Dutch lawyer living in a border town was shot and seriously wounded in what is believed to have been a targeted attack on him, German authorities and a Dutch attorneys’ organization said Wednesday.

The 43-year-old victim was struck Wednesday morning in Gronau when assailants opened fire from a white vehicle with Netherlands license plates, Muenster prosecutor Martin Botzenhardt, whose office is handling the investigation, told The Associated Press.

He said the victim was being treated in a hospital. He had no information on his condition, but said he was able to talk to authorities after the attack.

A photo from the scene showed medics tending to the victim in a suburban street and a police car parked nearby.

Botzenhardt wouldn’t comment on Dutch media reports that the victim was a lawyer, but said “there are indications the Gronau man was targeted.”

The Dutch Order of Attorneys said in a tweet it was shocked by what it called an attempted hit and identified the victim as lawyer Philippe Schol.

He is the second Dutch lawyer to be targeted by gunmen in recent weeks.

In September, Derk Wiersum, who represented a key witness in a major Dutch organized crime trial, was shot dead near his home in Amsterdam, a killing that sparked outrage and calls for a tougher crackdown on violent underworld gangs.

“The security of lawyers needs serious attention and appropriate measures,” the attorneys’ organization tweeted.

Police on both sides of the border were searching for the vehicle used in Wednesday’s shooting.

Dutch police appealed for witnesses and said they were investigating possible links to the border city of Enschede.

“We see that the incident has a major impact on society but also on people in the judicial system,” police said in a statement. “The police are aware and will take preventative measures if necessary.”

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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