German police seize weapons in raids on 'Bandidos' biker gang

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BERLIN, July 1 (Reuters) - German police raided more than 100 premises of the Bandidos motorcycle gang on Thursday and seized weapons, ammunition and large amounts of cash, the interior ministry said.

Almost 1,800 officers took part in the searches, which were focused in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia and four other states, the ministry said.

The Bandidos MC group was founded in Houston, Texas in 1966 and has had a branch in Germany since 1999 with the official purpose of promoting joint motorcycling and organising events, the ministry said.

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"In fact, the association is striving to gain territorial and financial power over similar competing motorcycling groups and enforces such claims with violence," it added.

The ministry did not say if anyone was arrested during the raids.

The U.S. Bandidos gang made the headlines in 2015 when they were in a deadly battle with a rival group in the Texas city of Waco that left nine people dead.

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Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Pravin Char

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