BONN, JAN. 4 -- An official of the West German Embassy in Paris was shot and killed in that city early today, and French and West German officials said he may have been the victim of Kurdish extremists.
There were many unanswered questions regarding the apparent murder of Siegfried Wielspuetz, and the French Interior Ministry and West German Foreign Ministry said they were not certain that politics was the motive.
Police were investigating possible involvement of Kurdish urban guerrillas because a leaflet of the leftist Kurdistan National Liberation Front, known by its initials, ERNK, was found in a pocket of the victim.
The leaflet detailed grievances of Kurdish militants against West Germany. The Kurdish people live in Turkey, Iran and Iraq, and the ERNK seeks to create a Kurdish state.
But the leaflet was several months old and available at the West German Embassy, and there was no claim or other reference to Wielspuetz's death in the document, according to the West German Foreign Ministry.
French police said they believed that Wielspuetz was murdered, but the Interior Ministry said it was "in the dark" about who carried out the killing.
Wielspuetz, 31, was the director of the passport and visa section at the West German consulate in Paris. He had no special responsibility for Kurdish affairs.
Two passers-by found him, with a bullet wound in the chest, on a pedestrian bridge over the Seine River near the Eiffel Tower shortly before 3 a.m., police said. He died soon afterward in a hospital.
An unidentified caller phoned a Turkish news agency in London and claimed responsibility for the killing of Wielspuetz and the alleged sabotage of a West German airliner in the name of a group called Liberation of Kurdistan.
The call, however, was made hours after radio and television news broadcasts had reported Wielspuetz's death and the discovery of the ERNK leaflet in his pocket.
In addition, Turkish investigators have said they believe that sabotage was not to blame for the crash on Saturday of the Condor airline Boeing 737 in which 16 people died.
Hassan Akis, a spokesman for the Kurdish community in Paris, said he had been told by an ERNK representative that the group was not involved in the apparent murder.