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Merkel site hacked ahead of visit

A German official says Chancellor Angela Merkel's website and several other German government sites have been blocked, and a pro-Russian organisation has claimed responsibility.

A pro-Russian organisation calling itself CyberBerkut claimed on its website to have blocked the official sites of Ms Merkel and the German Parliament ahead of a visit to Berlin by Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Ms Merkel has been a leading figure in attempts to calm the Ukraine crisis.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said several government websites were unreachable on Wednesday morning because of a "serious attack clearly caused by a multitude of external systems" - what is known as a distributed denial of service, or DDOS, attack.

Mr Seibert said the attack is still being analysed, and he did not say who was believed to be responsible.

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