Austrian police rescue 6 children from basement

Austrian police have rescued six British children from a wine cellar in the village of Obritz near the Austrian-Czech border, Austrian public broadcaster ORF reported Monday.

As police officers stormed a home, a couple barricaded themselves with children, and a 54-year-old man assaulted the police officers with pepper spray.

During the house search last Thursday, authorities found out that there were children aged between 7 months and 5 years old and a 40-year-old woman in the basement.

The police also seized several weapons.

Local residents had alerted the police because they had observed the family's home. Neighbors reported hearing children's voices but the voices always fell silent when someone approached the entrance to the house.

ORF said the house was isolated and well monitored, which, according to police, is a typical feature of the so-called prepper scene -- mainly active in North America and Great Britain -- a movement of preparing for various catastrophes from a blackout to alien or nuclear attacks to the end-of-the-world scenarios.

Based on the investigation, the man is from the far-right "Reich Citizens scene." The so-called Reich citizens reject democracy and deny the Holocaust. They also reject an open and pluralistic society and refuse, among other things, to pay taxes and fines or to comply with court orders and administrative decisions.

The 54-year-old man was temporarily arrested on Thursday evening, but later released because there was no endangerment of the child's welfare, the public prosecutor said, according to the private German television network RTL.

Source: Anadolu Agency