German police were searching for a motive yesterday after a gunman, believed to have been acting alone, killed several people in a Jehovah’s Witness church in Hamburg.
Police declined to say how many people had been killed in Thursday night’s attack, but said the gunman was believed to be among the dead.
The Bild newspaper reported seven people were dead and eight wounded in the shooting at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the northern city that is home to Germany’s biggest port.
No details of the suspected killer were released.
“Bad news from Hamburg,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote on Twitter yesterday, calling the attack “a brutal act of violence.”
He said his thoughts were with the victims, their families and the security forces, who “have been through a difficult deployment” since the shooting at about 9pm.
German authorities are working urgently to investigate the crime, German Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser wrote on Twitter.
“We assume that there is one perpetrator,” police said late on Thursday. “Investigations into the motives behind the crime are continuing.”
Police established an Internet portal for people to upload photos and videos “of the crime or relevant events.”
Soon after the violence began, residents in the Alsterdorf district received warnings on their mobile phones of a “life threatening situation,” and the area was sealed off, the Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.
Television footage showed dozens of police cars as well as fire engines blocking off streets, and some people, wrapped in blankets, being led by emergency service workers into a bus.
“We heard shots,” one unidentified witness told reporters.
“There were 12 continuous shots,” he said. “Then we saw how people were taken away in black bags.”
Police arrived at the scene to find several people seriously wounded and some dead.
“Then they heard a shot from above, they went upstairs and found one further person,” a police spokesperson said.
Germany has been shaken by a number of shootings over the past few years. In February 2020, a gunman with suspected far-right links shot dead nine people, including migrants from Turkey, in the western town of Hanau before killing himself and his mother.
In October 2019, a gunman killed two people when he opened fire outside a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.
Vaccines that protect against severe illness, death and lingering long COVID-19 symptoms from a SARS-CoV-2 infection were linked to small increases in neurological, blood and heart-related conditions in the largest global vaccine safety study to date. The rare events — identified early in the pandemic — included a higher risk of heart-related inflammation from mRNA shots made by Pfizer Inc, BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc, and an increased risk of a type of blood clot in the brain after immunization with viral-vector vaccines such as the one developed by the University of Oxford and made by AstraZeneca PLC. The viral-vector jabs were
A steam of sweat rose as hundreds of naked men tussled over a bag of wooden talismans, performing a dramatic end to a thousand-year-old ritual in Japan that took place for the last time. Their passionate chants of “jasso, joyasa” (“evil, be gone”) echoed through a ceder forest in Japan’s Iwate Prefecture, where the secluded Kokuseki Temple is ending the popular annual rite. Organizing the event, which draws hundreds of participants and thousands of tourists every year, has become a heavy burden for the aging local faithful, who find it hard to keep up with the rigors of the ritual. The Sominsai festival,
COLLECTIVE ACTION: Over 150 trainee doctors quit over the government’s plan to increase medical school admissions by 2,000 students next school year The South Korean government yesterday warned that trainee doctors were putting public health at risk after more than 150 tendered their resignations to protest a government plan to admit more students to medical schools. The South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare said it had issued a back-to-work order to the 154 doctors at seven hospitals, warning that refusing to comply would result in punishment. The government plans to raise medical school admissions by 2,000 students for the 2025 academic year and to add 10,000 doctors by 2035. Currently, about 3,000 students enter medical schools each year. The plan has drawn intense protests
‘PUTIN IS RESPONSIBLE’: Authorities detained more than 100 people in Russia, as mourners remembered the opposition leader outside embassies around the world Floral tributes to Alexei Navalny, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest foe who died on Friday in a Russian penal colony, were removed overnight by groups of unidentified people while police watched, videos on Russian social media show. More than 100 people were detained in eight cities across Russia after they came to lay flowers in memory of Navalny, said OVD-Info, a group that monitors political repression in Russia. Yesterday, police blocked access to a memorial in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk and detained several people there as well as in another Siberian city, Surgut, OVD-Info said. Video footage shared on social media