Halle / Saale (AP) - heavily armed police comb through the tranquil Paulusviertel in the north of Halle. About 30 meters from a synagogue lies a corpse, it is covered with a blue blanket. Next to it is a black backpack with a small fabric duck hanging on its zipper.
The police have cordoned off the area extensively with Flatterband. In the sky above the city center is a helicopter. Patrol cars drive through the residential area with blue lights and ask local residents to keep doors and windows closed. After the shootings, the city with almost 239,000 inhabitants is in a state of emergency. The situation is completely unclear on Wednesday afternoon.
The police reported that two people had been killed, according to initial findings. Several gunmen are on the run with a car. Also in Landsberg - about 15 kilometers from Halle - was shot, as confirmed by the police. For the immediate circumstances of the incident in the place in the Saalekreis she initially did not want to say anything. Eyewitnesses reported that a culprit shot at a nearby doner kebab.
The police then reported the arrest of a person in the early afternoon. "Still stay vigilant," the police tweeted, calling on people to stay in their homes or at work. The mobile warning and information system Katwarn also addressed the population with a "danger announcement". «Do not leave buildings and apartments. Stay away from windows and doors! »
In neighboring Leipzig, the police tightened their forces in front of the synagogue. Further measures have not yet been taken, it was said by a police spokesman. Jews around the world are currently celebrating Yom Kippur, the highest Jewish holiday.
In Halle, according to the chairman of the Jewish Community, Max Privorotzki, people in the synagogue were waiting in the meantime. At the time of the deadly shots, the Jewish house of worship had been fully occupied, according to Max Privorotzki for Der Spiegel. "There are currently 70 to 80 people in the synagogue," Privorotzki was quoted as saying.
Eyewitnesses in Halle reported meanwhile by a perpetrator, who is said to have worn a combat suit and a submachine gun. Accordingly, there should have been an explosion in a cemetery.
Media published pictures of the alleged perpetrator. The "Central German Newspaper" published in Halle showed a photograph of a dark-clad man in a helmet and boots holding a rifle. The Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk showed a video on which possibly the same man gets out of a car and fires his weapon several times.
The backgrounds of the deadly shots were initially unclear, according to the Federal Ministry of the Interior. The Federal Prosecutor's Office took over the investigation, as the authority in Karlsruhe announced on request. It proves of particular importance for murder. Whether it is an anti-Semitic act is still unclear.
Saxony-Anhalt's Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) broke off his visit to the EU in Brussels. "I am appalled by this detestable act," it said in a statement. "Not only have people been taken out of our midst, it is also a cowardly attack on peaceful coexistence in our country. My sympathy goes to the families of the victims. "
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