Terrorist suspected of far-right links kills 10 in Germany


German police officers at the entrance of a bar where several people were killed late on Wednesday in Hanau (Source:AP

A gunman, who killed nine people in what appears to be two racially motivated shootings at shisha bars in the German town of Hanau, turned the gun on his mother and himself hours later.


The shootings took place around 22:00 (21:00 GMT) on Wednesday, and the first target was the Midnight shisha bar in the city centre of Hanau. Witnesses reported hearing about a dozen gunshots.


Tobias R is reported to have travelled by car to the Kesselstadt neighbourhood, over 2.5km (1.5 miles) away, and opened fire at the Arena Bar & Cafe.


Angela Merkel said the circumstances of the attack needed to be fully investigated, and the shootings had exposed the “poison” of racism in German society. She pledged to stand up against those who sought to divide the country.


She said: “Racism is a poison. Hatred is a poison. This hatred exists in our society and it is responsible for far too many crimes.”


Merkel pledged that “everything will be done to investigate the circumstances of these terrible murders”.


The shootings sparked a manhunt on Wednesday evening. Police identified the gunman through information from witnesses and surveillance cameras. Early on Thursday, they stormed the suspect's home, near the scene of the second shooting.

Pictured, Tobias R., who is believed to have carried out the shootings in Hanau (Source:AP)

Some of those killed were of Turkish origin and a spokesman for the Turkish presidency said. “We expect German authorities to show maximum effort to enlighten this case.


Police tweeted at about 5am local time that special police force officers had stormed the home of the alleged suspect and found him dead along with another body.


The statement said that there were no indications of other perpetrators.


Officers sealed off and searched the terrace house in Hanau’s Kesselstadt district, near the scene of one of the shootings, after following up witness statements on a getaway car.


Neighbours reported hearing a huge bang as police used explosives to break down the door at 3am.


Federal prosecutors said on Thursday they were taking charge of investigating the shooting after amid reports that Tobias R may have had a far-right motive.


The mayor of the town, Claus Kaminsky, said it was the “worst evening imaginable”.


A vigil for the victims in Hanau on Thursday evening turned into an impromptu protest against extremism, with some attendees carrying signs denouncing racism and xenophobia.


In the wake of the shootings, Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas condemned the spread of right-wing attacks.


Maas said that if the suspicion was confirmed, then the gruesome act in Hanau was the third extreme right-wing murder attack in Germany in a year.


"Right-wing terrorism has again become a threat to our country. There is absolutely nothing to put into perspective," he said.


In October, a gunman killed two people in an attack on a synagogue in Halle, while streaming the rampage live from a camera on his helmet. He later admitted to the attack and to holding anti-Semitic and far-right views.


#Germany #Hanau #Merkel #Terrorism

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