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Nazi war criminal Priebke dies under house arrest in Italy

Erich Priebke, a former Nazi official convicted for a 1944 massacre in Rome, has died at the age of 100, his lawyer says. The former SS officer died in Rome, Italian media has reported.

Priebke had been under house arrest since 1998 after receiving a life sentence for a March 1944 massacre in which a Nazi squad he was part of killed 335 men and boys in retaliation for an attack by Italian partisans on German officers.

Before being caught, Priebke had lived from 1949 to 1994 under his own name at an Argentine spa until Sam Donaldson, a reporter for the US television network ABC, tracked him down. Eventually extradited to Italy in 1995, Priebke finally faced trial for his crimes.

In 1998, Priebke, a former SS officer, was sentenced to life in prison for participating in the 1944 massacre at the Adreatine Caves south of Rome.

Because of his age and ill health, Priebke was allowed to serve his sentence under house arrest.

mkg/dr (AFP, dpa)