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Germany gun attacks: At least two killed in Halle shootings

Police climb over a wall into a Jewish cemeteryImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Witnesses say a gunman tried to enter a synagogue as up to 80 people observed Yom Kippur

At least two people have been killed and two others injured in gun attacks in the east German city of Halle.

It is thought one suspect, who has been arrested, killed a man at a kebab shop and a woman near a synagogue.

Witnesses inside the synagogue say the gunman tried to force his way through the door, where dozens were inside observing Yom Kippur on Wednesday.

Videos from the scene appear to show the suspect wore military-type clothing and used several weapons in the attack.

He was wearing a video camera and streamed the attack online, according to the Site Intelligence extremist monitoring group.

A lockdown of the area has been lifted, following earlier fears that others were involved and had fled.

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has described the attack as anti-Semitic.

“According to the federal prosecutor there are sufficient indications for a possible right-wing extremist motive,” he said.

What do we know about the attacks?

The attacks happened at about 12:00 local time (10:00 GMT) on Wednesday.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A suspect was filmed wearing a helmet shooting into a local street

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.

Police say the suspect was arrested after fleeing the scene, but their identity has not yet been released.

Two people with gun wounds are having surgery at Halle’s university hospital, a spokesman told AFP news agency.

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.

One witness said the attacker was “dressed like a policeman… fully armed” and had thrown a petrol bomb or grenade over a cemetery wall.

The violence came as Jews celebrated Yom Kippur, Judaism’s holiest day.

A witness at the kebab shop told German N-tv news that a gunman in camouflage had opened fire on the venue.

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Media captionPolice have asked the public to stay in their homes

“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.

Shane Smith, a tourist from New Zealand, heard six loud shots from the flat where he was staying, he told the BBC.

He later witnessed a vehicle speeding up a local road, pursued by a police car with a damaged window.

Security was boosted at other German synagogues news of the attack, local media reported.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her condolences and “solidarity for all Jews on the holy day of Yom Kippur”.

A minute’s silence was held for the victims in the European Parliament in Brussels.

“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.

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