Nine dead in ‘xenophobic’ Germany bar shootings

Agence France-Presse . Hanau, Germany | Published: 01:11, Feb 21,2020


A shooter with suspected far-right beliefs killed nine people at a shisha bar and a cafe in the German city of Hanau, police said Thursday, before apparently killing himself and his mother.

Federal counter-terror prosecutors announced they were investigating the case, which showed ‘signs of a xenophobic motive’, a spokesman said.

Among the dead were ‘several victims of Kurdish origin’, the Kon-Med association of Kurds in Germany said in a statement, adding that it was ‘furious’ that authorities were not doing more to combat rightwing extremism.

Alarm has been growing about an increasingly emboldened far-right movement in Germany, following a deadly anti-Semitic attack in Halle and the murder of a pro-migrant politician last year.

The suspected gunman in Hanau was identified as 43-year-old German Tobias R.

He left behind online a ‘manifesto’ and video material that suggested a terror attack motivated by ‘a hostile attitude to foreigners’, said Peter Beuth, the interior minister of the state of Hesse.

The rampage started at around 10:00pm (2100 GMT) on Wednesday at a shisha bar in the Heumarkt area of central Hanau, a city some 20 kilometres east of Frankfurt.

The gunman reportedly rang the doorbell and shot at people in the smoking section, killing five, including a woman, mass-market daily Bild said.

He then fled the scene by car before opening fire at the ‘Arena Bar & Cafe’, killing three people outside the building, local media said, with witnesses reporting hearing a dozen shots.

Police said one of those injured had also died, bringing the toll from the bar attacks to nine.

Another person who was injured remains in critical condition, Beuth told reporters.

German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German chancellor Angel Merkel and  French president Emmanuel Macron condemned of the ‘terrorist violence’ in Hanau.

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