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Germany - Attack

Nine dead in 'xenophobic' Germany bar shootings

A vehicle damaged in one of the shooting incidents in the German city of Hanau, 19 February 2020.
A vehicle damaged in one of the shooting incidents in the German city of Hanau, 19 February 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

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

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At least ten people were killed in shootings targeting two shisha (also known as hookah) smoking establishments in Hanau. The suspected gunman was found dead in his home early on Thursday.

The attacks occurred at two bars in Hanau, about 20 kilometres from Frankfurt. Armed police and helicopters were quickly on the scene, looking for those responsible for the bloodshed.

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

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.

Police in the central state of Hesse said the body of the likely perpetrator had been found at his home in Hanau after they located a getaway vehicle seen by witnesses. Another body was also discovered at the property.

Currently no indication of additional perpetrators

"The suspected perpetrator has been found dead," police said, adding: "There is currently no indication that there are additional perpetrators."

The mass-circulation daily paper Bild said that those killed in the first bar were of Kurdish origin.

The first attack occurred at the "Midnight" bar in the centre of the city around 2100 GMT, reports said. Three people were killed in front of the building, local media said, with witnesses reporting hearing a dozen shots.

The attacker, or attackers, fled the scene by car, according to police. There was then a second shooting at the "Arena Bar".

A gunman reportedly rang the doorbell and shot people who were in the smoking section, killing five people including a woman, Bild said.

Documents and videos found at perpetrator's home

Sources close to the investigation have confirmed media reports that text and video material was found at the home of the perpetrator, who media reported was a 43-year-old man, believed to have had extreme right-wing sympathies.

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.

Meanwhile media including public broadcaster ARD report that the second body discovered at the property was that of the man's mother.

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