2 People Killed In Shooting In Eastern Germany; Synagogues Under Increased Security – NPR

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Police block access to a street near the scene of an attack that left two people dead on Wednesday in Halle, Germany. Initial reports indicate a man fired shots outside a synagogue and a kebab shop in the eastern German city. Jens Schlueter/Getty Images hide caption

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Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

At least two people were shot and killed in the eastern German city of Halle on Wednesday. Police and witnesses say shots were fired in multiple locations, including outside a synagogue and near a Jewish cemetery. The attack came as Jews observed Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

One suspect has been arrested, and another suspect is thought to have fled in a vehicle. Authorities believe two or three people may have carried out the attack.

Witnesses told local media outlets that a man fired shots and threw a grenade-like object at a kebab shop.

Max Privorozki, chairman of the Jewish community in Halle, told news magazine Der Spiegel that a gunman tried to invade a synagogue, firing shots and throwing Molotov cocktails — but that the building’s security measures withstood the attack. About 70 to 80 people were in the synagogue at the time, he said.

Regional broadcaster MDR shared a bystander’s cellphone video showing a person wearing a helmet firing shots from a rifle, though it’s not clear what the person was shooting at. Shots also were reportedly fired 9 miles away, in the town of Landsberg.

Residents have been told to stay indoors, and police are asking for help in finding any images or video that might show the suspects.

Two people have been admitted to a hospital in Halle with gunshot wounds and were undergoing surgery, Der Spiegel reported.

Police protection was increased at synagogues in the eastern German cities of Leipzig and Dresden after the incident, German news service DPA reports. Federal police also reinforced security at train stations and airports in central Germany and on routes to Poland and the Czech Republic. Deutsche Bahn announced that Halle’s main train station was closed.

German federal prosecutors have taken over the investigation of the case, according to Der Spiegel.

This is a developing story. Some facts reported by the media may later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene. We will update as the situation develops.