2 U.S. service members held in Germany after man stabbed to death at carnival

(UPI) — Two U.S. military service members were taken into federal custody over the weekend after a 28-year-old man was stabbed to death during a fight between at least four people at a carnival in western Germany, officials said.

The deadly confrontation occurred Saturday night after an argument escalated to violence at the Säubrenner fair in Wittlich, the U.S. European Command confirmed. The soldiers were stationed at nearby Spangdahlem Air Base and were at the fair with some friends when a fight broke out among several people, according to local police and U.S. Air Force authorities.

“This is certainly an intolerable and preventable tragedy in our peaceful community,” said Col. Kevin Crofton, commander of the base’s 52nd Fighter Wing. For now, the U.S. military is withholding the names of the two male soldiers, ages 25 and 26, after they were identified by witnesses at the scene of the crime.

German police have not disclosed the circumstances that led to the deadly brawl. Four people, including two men and two women, were seen running from the fairgrounds after the fight, police said.

Later, investigators caught up with the suspects and sent them to a lockup overseen by the 52nd Security Forces Squadron, where they will remain held with no bond as the investigation continues.

The victim was identified only as a German national. U.S. authorities plan to oversee the investigation “in accordance with the NATO troop statute,” German police said. The crime stunned the small town of Wittlich, where the fair has become a favorite pastime for the city’s low-key residents.

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