Suspected saboteur litters German dogsled race track with glass and nails | News | DW | 11.03.2018
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Suspected saboteur litters German dogsled race track with glass and nails

A probe is underway into why someone would want to disrupt the Baltic Lights dogsled race on Germany's Usedom island. The 6-kilometer run, featuring some 400 huskies, went ahead despite the apparently cruel act.

Germany's annual Baltic Lights dogsled race was the target of a suspected sabotage incident on Saturday, when broken glass, nails and barbed wire were found on the racecourse.

Police on the German-Polish island of Usedom said a witness reported seeing dangerous objects close to the racetrack just a few hours before the event was due to take place.

"Officers from the Heringsdorf police station checked the specified area and found that unknown persons had scattered various nails, barbed wire and broken glass in a restricted area of the racetrack," a police statement said.

After informing the race organizer, the track was cleaned and the event was allowed to go ahead.

Police have launched an investigation into who could have been responsible for the damage.

Read more: A winter safari on Usedom

Injuries averted

The mayor of the Kaiserbad district denounced the disruption in an interview with the local newspaper, Ostsee-Zeitung.

"I don't know who did it. But there's no doubt that people and animals could have been seriously injured. I have no understanding why," said Mayor Lars Peterson.

He said the charity event, which raises money for the aid agency Deutsche Welthungerhilfe (World Hunger Aid), is very important for the region: "That's why I'm really happy that our workers noticed and cleared it up in good time."

The three-day Baltic Lights winter spectacle features German celebrities who are each pulled on sleds around the 6-kilometer (3.7-mile) track by four dogs.

About 50 dogsled leaders, known as mushers, enter some 400 huskies in the annual contest.

Usedom is a major tourism destination due to its beaches and natural environment. It was split in two following World War II, with the eastern half assigned to Poland.

Read more: Iditarod dog sled team tests positive for Tramadol in drug doping test

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