Hamburg: Shooting at Jehovah’s Witnesses church in Hamburg leaves several dead and injured – Times of India

HAMBURG: The German police reported on Thursday that several people were killed in a shooting at a Jehovah’s Witness center in Hamburg, with presumably one of the dead.
The incident was first reported around 21:15 local time (2015 GMT) when emergency calls were made after gunshots were heard in the building in northern Hamburg. The police found several people at the scene who were seriously injured, some of them fatally.
“We only know that several people died here; several people are injured, they have been taken to hospitals,” said police spokesman Holger Vehren.
There is currently no reliable information on the motive of the crime and police are urging people not to speculate.
The motive behind the attack remains unclear.
Television footage showed dozens of police cars and fire engines blocking the streets and some people, wrapped in blankets, being led onto a bus by emergency workers.
“We heard shots,” an unnamed witness told reporters. “There were 12 consecutive shots… then we saw people being taken in black bags,” he added.
Police have also warned residents in the area to stay indoors and avoid the area, and have cordoned off streets around the building. Although the exact death toll has not been released, various German media report that at least six people have been killed.
Police used a disaster alert app to raise the alarm of “extreme danger” in the area. A police spokesperson confirms that they have no indications that a perpetrator is on the run. They believe the suspect may have been in the building and may even be among the dead.
The port city of Hamburg has a population of 3,800 Jehovah’s Witnesses out of a total of 175,000 in Germany. Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher expressed his shock and expressed his condolences to the victims’ families by tweeting that the emergency services were doing their utmost to clear up the situation.
Germany has experienced several attacks in recent years, by both jihadists and far-right extremists. In December 2016, a truck crash at a Christmas market in Berlin killed 12 people, with the Tunisian attacker, a rejected asylum seeker, a supporter of the Islamic State jihadist group.
Between 2013 and 2021, according to data from the Interior Ministry, the number of Islamists considered dangerous in the country has multiplied by five to 615.
In February 2020, a far-right extremist shot dead ten people and wounded five others in the central German city of Hanau. In 2019, two people were killed after a neo-Nazi attempted to storm a synagogue in Halle on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, sparking allegations that the government was not doing enough to stamp out neo-Nazi violence.

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