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Several dead in shooting in Hamburg church: German police

HAMBURG – Several people have been killed in a shooting at a Jehovah’s Witnesses church in Hamburg, with the gunman believed to be among those found inside the building, German police said on Thursday.

Shots were fired at the church in the Großborsteler district, with the first emergency call taking place around 2015 GMT, a local police spokesman said.

“Several people were seriously injured, some even fatally,” the police said on Twitter.

“At the moment there is no reliable information on the motive,” they added, urging people not to speculate.

Police warned people of an “extreme danger” in the area using a disaster warning app.

Residents must stay indoors and avoid the area, police said, adding that roads around the church have been cordoned off.

Police did not give an exact number, but several German national media said at least six people were killed.

Officers were able to reach the site quickly after emergency calls were received, a spokesman said.

The first police at the scene found several lifeless bodies and seriously injured people.

They also heard gunshot in the “upper part of the building” before finding a person in the area where it sounded.

“We have no evidence of a perpetrator on the run,” said the police spokesman.

Instead, officers have “evidence that a perpetrator may have been in the building and may even be among the dead.”

The spokesman added the person uncovered in the upper part of the building was “possibly” the perpetrator.

The mayor of the port city-state, Peter Tschentscher, expressed shock at the shooting on Twitter.

He expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and said the emergency services were doing their utmost to clarify the circumstances.

– Struck by Attacks –

Germany has been rocked by several attacks in recent years, both by jihadists and right-wing extremists.

One of the deadliest acts by Islamist extremists was a truck rampage at a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016, which killed 12 people.

The Tunisian attacker, a failed asylum seeker, was a supporter of the jihadist group Islamic State.

Europe’s most populous nation remains a target of jihadist groups, particularly because of its involvement in the coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Between 2013 and 2021, the number of Islamists classified as dangerous in the country had multiplied fivefold to 615, according to the Interior Ministry.

But Germany has also been hit by several far-right attacks in recent years, sparking accusations that the government is not doing enough to stamp out neo-Nazi violence.

In February 2020, a right-wing extremist shot dead ten people and injured five others in the central German city of Hanau.

And in 2019, two people were killed when a neo-Nazi tried to storm a synagogue in Halle on the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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