Two Killed in Shooting in Eastern German City of Halle: Police

October 9, 2019 Updated: October 9, 2019

Two people were killed in a shooting in the eastern German city of Halle on Oct. 9 and police said they had detained one person.

Mass-selling daily Bild said the shooting took place in front of a synagogue, and that a hand grenade was also thrown into a Jewish cemetery. An eyewitness told n-tv television that a perpetrator had also fired shots into a kebab shop in Halle.

Kebab shop in Halle
A police officer walks in front of a kebab grill in Halle, Germany on Oct. 9, 2019. (Sebastian Willnow/dpa via AP)

The violence occurred on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year in Judaism when Jews fast for more than 24 hours, seeking atonement.

“Our forces have detained one person,” local police said on Twitter. “Please nonetheless remain vigilant.” Earlier, police tweeted: “According to initial findings, two people were killed in Halle. There were several shots.”

Pictures from the scene showed a body lying in the street behind a police cordon.

Shooting-in-Germany
Police secures the area after a shooting in the eastern German city of Halle on Oct. 9, 2019. (Marvin Gaul/Reuters)

Gunshots were also heard in Landsberg, a Halle suburb, Focus Online reported.

National rail operator Deutsche Bahn said the main train station in Halle had been closed.

Initial police statements did not confirm the media reports associating the gunfire and grenade attack with Jewish targets.

Shooting-in-Germany
Bullet casings are pictured after a shooting in the eastern German city of Halle on Oct. 9, 2019. (Marvin Gaul/Reuters)

Anti-Semitism is especially sensitive in Germany, which during World War Two was responsible for the genocide of 6 million Jews in the Nazi Holocaust.

Despite comprehensive de-Nazification in the post-war era, fears of resurgent anti-Semitic hatred have never completely gone away, whether from neo-Nazis or more recently from extremist illegal immigrants.

Occasional past attacks have ranged from the scrawling of Nazi swastikas on gravestones to firebombings at synagogues and even several murders.

In recent years, cases of assault or verbal abuse, in some cases directed against people wearing traditional Jewish skullcaps, have raised an outcry.

First responders attend to the scene after a fatal shooting in Halle
First responders attend to the scene after a fatal shooting in Halle, Germany on Oct. 9, 2019. (Nonstopnews/Reuters TV via Reuters)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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