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Far-right terrorism
 

Shootings at two bars in Germany kill at least 9 people

Authorities confirmed that the suspect was found dead at his house. German counter-terrorism prosecutors have taken over the investigation because “there are indications of a far-right motive”.

AUTHOR Evangelical Focus HANAU (GERMANY) 20 FEBRUARY 2020 14:00 h GMT+1
Police at the crime scene. / YouTube capture.

A gunman opened fire on two shisha bars in the western German city of Hanau, about 20 kilometres from Frankfurt, this Wednesday night, killing at least nine people and injured four.



In the first attack, which took place at the Midnight bar in the centre of the city, around 10pm, he killed three people. Then the suspect reportedly fled to the Kesselstadt neighbourhood, rang the doorbell of the Arena Bar & Cafe, and shot people, killing at least five.



After a long manhunt, local police confirmed on Twitter that “the suspected perpetrator was found lifeless at his residential address in Hanau. Police special forces also found her mother corpse at the site. The investigations continue. Currently, there are no indications of further perpetrators”.



Furthermore, police found a letter at the suspect's home, claiming responsibility for the attack. Investigators might also be examining a video that the he may have posted online several days earlier in which he details several conspiracy theories.



 



COUNTER-TERRORISM PROSECUTORS TAKE OVER INVESTIGATION



German federal counter-terrorism prosecutors announced on Thursday they had taken over the investigation because of the “particular importance of the case", adding that “there are signs of a xenophobic far-right motive for the killings”.



The federal prosecutor primarily handles cases of crimes against the state, including treason, espionage and terrorism, and cases involving genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.



 



POLITICAL REACTIONS



German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that he “learned about the terrorist act in Hanau with horror. My deepest sympathy and condolences go out to the victims and their relatives. I wish a speedy recovery to those injured”.



“I stand on the side of all people who are threatened by acts of racism. They are not alone. The large majority of people in Germany condemn this act and every form of racism, hate and violence”, added Steinmeier, speaking from Berlin.



“This was a terrible evening. You could not imagine a worse night. I am sure we will be dealing with and remembering with sadness for a long, long time”, the mayor of Hanau, Claus Kaminsky, told German newspaper Bild.



He warned that “the police must have the chance to clear up the situation and investigate, until then, we should wait with prudence, no matter how hard this may be".



On twitter, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Germany's former defence minister, underlined that she was “deeply shocked by the tragedy that took place last night in Hanau. My thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims, to whom I want to extend my sincerest condolences. We mourn with you today”.



Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his “deep sadness” and said he “stands by Chancellor Merkel in this fight for our values and the protection of our democracy”.



 



MANY ATTACKS IN THE LAST YEARS



Far-right attacks have become a particular concern for German authorities, because the country has suffered many in recent years .



These shootings come just days after one person was shot dead and four more were injured outside a Berlin music venue.



Last Friday, police arrested 12 members of a German far-right group believed to have been plotting “shocking” large-scale attacks on mosques similar to the ones carried out in New Zealand last year.



In October 2016, 12 people died and 48 others were injured when a truck plowed into a Christmas market also in Berlin.


 

 


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Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.