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HANAU, Germany — A 21-year-old soldier assigned to the 502nd Engineer Company was stabbed to death Monday night following a dispute with his wife during his birthday party, according to German authorities.

The 22-year-old wife of the soldier was charged with murder and is being held in a German jail, the Hanau Prosecutor’s Office said on Wednesday.

The nature of the dispute between the couple, whose identities have not been released, remains unclear, prosecutor Jost Ort said. But there was a history of family problems and apparent conflicts over the care of the couple’s child, Ort said.

The birthday party was held at the couple’s apartment at Pioneer Kaserne in Hanau. The attack was witnessed by three guests, one of whom contacted authorities, Ort said.

About 9 p.m. Monday, unit personnel, German police, U.S. military police and German medical emergency personnel responded to the scene at Pioneer Kaserne.

Emergency measures were taken but the soldier was pronounced dead almost immediately, Ort said.

A medical examination will be conducted to determine the nature and number of wounds, Ort said.

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John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

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