2 dead after shooting near German synagogue

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A police robot near the scene of a shooting that has left two people dead on October 9, in Halle, Germany | Jens Schlueter/Getty Images

Police in the eastern city of Halle say several shots were fired.

Two people have been killed in a shooting that took place near a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle, according to local authorities and media reports.

Local police said “several shots were fired” on Wednesday afternoon and that several perpetrators were on the run, adding later that one person had been detained.

The federal prosecutor’s office, which is in charge of terrorism cases, took over the investigation later in the afternoon. Authorities have not yet provided information on the detained suspect or a possible motive.

Max Privorozki, chairman of the Jewish community in Halle, told Der Spiegel that “70 to 80 people” had been in the local synagogue at the time of the shooting, marking the holy day of Yom Kippur.

In reaction to the attack, police forces in several German cities stepped up security measures around synagogues.

Parts of the city, including the central train station, were on lockdown Wednesday afternoon. Following the shooting, the European Parliament observed a moment of silence.

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