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Oak tree planted for German far-right group's victim felled

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities are condemning the destruction of an oak tree that was planted in remembrance of a victim of the far-right National Socialist Underground group. Authorities blame the group for killing 10 people between 2000 and 2007, most of them immigrants. The only known surviving member was sentenced to life imprisonment last year.

Officials in the eastern German town of Zwickau say they are investigating who sawed down the tree commemorating the group's first victim, flower seller Enver Simsek , weeks after the oak was planted.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert on Friday condemned the vandalism as "simply shocking." Seibert told reporters in Berlin the NSU killings were "a cause for shame" and Germany owed it to the victims and their families to commemorate those who were killed.

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