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At least 2 dead after shooting in front of synagogue in Halle

At least 2 dead after shooting in front of synagogue in Halle

At least 2 dead after shooting in front of synagogue in Halle

At least two people have been killed during a shooting in the East German city of Halle (Saale). Local residents are being warned by the police to be on their guard. There were also reports of shots being fired in Landsberg, just 15 kilometres away. It is unclear whether the two incidents are connected. 

Residents of Halle warned to remain alert

“Early indications show that two people were killed in Halle. Several shots were fired. The alleged perpetrators escaped in a vehicle,” Halle police reported via Twitter just after 1pm on Wednesday, October 9. 

Just a few minutes later came the news that there had been an arrest, but the police warned local residents to continue to be on their guard - ideally remaining inside and away from doors and windows -  as other suspects may still be at large: “Our officers have arrested one person. Nevertheless, remain on your guard.” As of Wednesday afternoon, a police operation involving street closures, a special task force and a helicopter is underway. 

Shots fired on synagogue in East German city

Initial eyewitness reports indicate that the incident took place in the Paulus district of the city, close to a synagogue where between 80 and 100 worshippers had gathered to celebrate Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism.

The perpetrators (believed to be more than one) apparently tried to force their way into the synagogue. When they could not gain entry, they instead shot at the door and window with an automatic weapon but were still unable to break through the synagogue’s security defences. 

They then opened fire on passers-by in the street and a nearby kebab shop. There are also some reports that a hand grenade was thrown into the Jewish cemetery, although these have not yet been confirmed. Shortly thereafter, the suspects got into a car and disappeared. They are said to have been wearing military-style combat suits.

Significant disruptions while police operation ongoing

The Jewish worshippers are still inside the synagogue, where they are being protected by members of the special forces. 

Deutsche Bahn is warning that Halle’s main train station will remain closed for the time being, with trains being re-routed to nearby Leipzig. Halle Police said that their ongoing operation in the city centre would also cause significant delays to anyone travelling. 

Abi

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Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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