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Nazi War Criminal Erich Priebke Dies In Rome
Former SS captain Erich Priebke, one of the last Nazi war criminals, has died in Rome at the age of 100, his lawyer has said.
Priebke was sentenced to life in prison in 1998 for his role in a massacre at Rome's Ardeatine caves in March 1944.
But he spent the last few years of his life under house arrest at his lawyer's apartment in Rome.
Priebke, who turned 100 years old in July, had been in charge of SS troops who executed 335 civilians with a bullet to the neck in retaliation for the killings of 33 German soldiers by a partisan group.
He admitted shooting two people and rounding up victims, but insisted he was only following orders.
After he appealed his sentenced, claiming to be too ill to stay in prison, he was granted a relaxed regime of house arrest.
Members of the Jewish community in Rome staged a protest outside the apartment on his 100th birthday, with scuffles breaking out when his grandson arrived carrying a bottle of champagne.
Priebke's lawyer Paolo Giachini said in a statement that the convicted war criminal had left a final interview as his "human and political testament".
It was not clear when it would be released.
After the war Priebke escaped to Argentina but was deported to Italy after being interviewed on US television and admitting his role in the massacre, which he said had been conducted against "terrorists".
The Ardeatine massacre was depicted in a film staring Richard Burton as the Rome Gestapo chief Herbert Kappler, who carried out the killings.
In the 1973 film, Priebke was played by English stage actor Brook Williams.