Published: Thu, October 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

At Least Two Shot Dead Outside Synagogue in Germany on Yom Kippur

At Least Two Shot Dead Outside Synagogue in Germany on Yom Kippur

Police said in a tweet early Wednesday afternoon that "the suspected perpetrators" had fled in a auto after the attacks and quickly reported that one person had been arrested. "Several shots were fired", said police on Twitter, urging residents in the area to stay indoors.

They did not give any further information.

The Bild and Mitteldeutsche Zeitung newspapers reported the shooting took place near a synagogue.

While the exact sequence of events is unclear, it seems that one or more attackers attempted to enter the synagogue but were prevented from doing so by security personnel.

The Halle attack appears to be the latest in a wave of racially and religiously motivated crimes against Jews to rock Germany in recent years. Der Spiegel reported that one attacker was believed to have tried to flee in a taxi before being arrested by police.

Eyewitnesses state the man then attempted to open the door of the synagogue, where an estimated 70 worshippers were celebrating the high holy day Yom Kippur. The gunman is on the run and police have sealed off the surrounding area.

"Together with you, I would like to express my sympathies to the German police forces, the German people and the German Jewish community", European Parliament President David Sassoli said, leading the tribute. "The man looked like he was from the special forces.But our doors held".

Regional broadcaster MDR shared a bystander's cellphone video showing a person wearing a helmet firing shots from a rifle, though it's not clear what the person was shooting at.

A second victim - a man - was then killed at a nearby kebab shop, sources said.

Spokesman Hana Rubasova says officers are focusing on synagogues and other Jewish buildings and objects, Prague's worldwide airport and the border. "The fact that the synagogue in Halle was not protected by the police on a holiday like Yom Kippur is scandalous", Schuster said.

"Several shots were fired. We also take care of the injured and wish them speedy and complete recovery", Schuster said. "Please nonetheless remain vigilant".

Occasional past attacks have ranged from the scrawling of Nazi swastikas on gravestones to firebombings at synagogues and even several murders.

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