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Germany gun attacks: At least two killed in Halle shootings Germany shooting: Gunman kills two after attacking synagogue
(about 2 hours later)
At least two people have been killed and two others injured in gun attacks in the east German city of Halle. Two people have been shot dead by a gunman in eastern Germany after he attempted to enter a synagogue where dozens were observing a Jewish holiday.
It is thought one suspect, who has been arrested, killed a man at a kebab shop and a woman near a synagogue. The suspect live-streamed the attack on an online video-game platform before being arrested.
Witnesses inside the synagogue say the gunman tried to force his way through the door, where dozens were inside observing Yom Kippur on Wednesday. The video, which has now been removed, showed him making anti-Semitic comments to camera before driving to a synagogue in Halle and shooting into its door.
Videos from the scene appear to show the suspect wore military-type clothing and used several weapons in the attack. After failing to get in, the gunman shot dead two people nearby.
He was wearing a video camera and streamed the attack online, according to the Site Intelligence extremist monitoring group. The suspect is a 27-year-old German who acted alone, according to local media.
A lockdown of the area has been lifted, following earlier fears that others were involved and had fled. "According to the federal prosecutor there are sufficient indications for a possible right-wing extremist motive," German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has described the attack as anti-Semitic. Videos from the scene appear to show the suspect wearing military-type clothing and using several weapons in the attack.
"According to the federal prosecutor there are sufficient indications for a possible right-wing extremist motive," he said. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has attended a memorial vigil for the victims at Berlin's main synagogue.
What do we know about the attacks? How did the attack unfold?
The attacks happened at about 12:00 local time (10:00 GMT) on Wednesday. The attack happened in the city of Halle at about 12:00 local time (10:00 GMT) on Wednesday.
One man was killed in a Turkish kebab shop and a female victim reportedly died on a street close to a Jewish cemetery and synagogue. Max Privorotzki, leader of the local Jewish community, said the attempted attack on the synagogue was captured on a surveillance camera.
Police say the suspect was arrested after fleeing the scene, but their identity has not yet been released. "We saw via the camera system at our synagogue that a heavily-armed perpetrator with a steel helmet and a gun tried to shoot open our doors," he told the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper.
Two people with gun wounds are having surgery at Halle's university hospital, a spokesman told AFP news agency. "The man looked like he was from the special forces... But our doors held."
Max Privorotzki, leader of the local Jewish community, told media that a camera outside the synagogue showed a gunman with a helmet and rifle trying to get into the compound. At least 70 people were inside at the time. Mr Privorotzki said about 70 or 80 people were inside at the time.
One witness said the attacker was "dressed like a policeman... fully armed" and had thrown a petrol bomb or grenade over a cemetery wall. After apparently becoming frustrated at failing to get in, the suspect then allegedly shot into the street and killed a woman close to the synagogue, before killing a man in a local kebab shop.
The violence came as Jews celebrated Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day. A witness at the shop told German N-tv news that the gunman was wearing camouflage when he opened fire on the venue.
A witness at the kebab shop told German N-tv news that a gunman in camouflage had opened fire on the venue. "The man came up to the doner shop, he threw something like a grenade, it didn't explode, and he opened fire with an assault rifle. I hid in the toilet," the witness said.
"The man came up to the doner shop, he threw something like a grenade, it didn't explode, and he opened fire with an assault rifle. I hid in the toilet," the witness told a TV reporter near the scene. Two injured people with gun wounds have had surgery at the city's university hospital, a spokesman told AFP news agency.
Shane Smith, a tourist from New Zealand, heard six loud shots from the flat where he was staying, he told the BBC. What is known about the attacker?
He later witnessed a vehicle speeding up a local road, pursued by a police car with a damaged window. Police say the suspect was arrested after fleeing the scene. He has not been officially named but local media suggest he is a 27-year-old German man.
Security was boosted at other German synagogues news of the attack, local media reported. Initial reports suggested other people may have been involved, but a local police lockdown has now been lifted.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her condolences and "solidarity for all Jews on the holy day of Yom Kippur". Video-game platform Twitch has confirmed the suspect broadcast the attack on their online streaming website.
A minute's silence was held for the victims in the European Parliament in Brussels. "We worked with urgency to remove this content and will permanently suspend any accounts found to be posting or reposting content of this abhorrent act," a spokeswoman told Reuters.
"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 video the suspect posted showed him making misogynistic and anti-Semitic statements to the camera - including denying the Holocaust.
The attack came as Jews observed Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day.
"That on the Day of Atonement a synagogue was shot at hits us in the heart," Foreign Minister Heiko Maas posted on Twitter. "We must all act against anti-Semitism in our country."
Security was boosted at other German synagogues following news of the attack and vigils were held on Wednesday evening.
A minute's silence was also held for the victims in the European Parliament in Brussels.
The EU's President, Jean Claude Juncker, said in a statement that the EU stands "in solidarity" with the Jewish community.
"I am shocked by the brutal attacks in Halle - on this day, Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism. My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the shooting as a "terror attack" and warned anti-Semitism was on the rise in Europe.
"I urge German authorities to continue to act resolutely against the phenomenon of anti-Semitism," Mr Netanyahu tweeted.
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