In Germany: 9 dead after two attacks on Hanau shisha bars

In Germany: 9 dead after two attacks on Hanau shisha bars

In Germany, a gunman opened gun fire on two shisha bars in the western German city of Hanau, killing about 9 people and injuring many others, police reveals.

In both places targeted on Wednesday night the clientele were reported to have been solely Kurdish.

The suspect was found dead at his home along with the body of his mother.

Federal prosecutors are treating the attack as terrorism, with officials saying there is evidence the gunman was a far-right extremist.

Police say the suspect killed himself. The Bild tabloid reports he was a German citizen with a firearms licence, and that ammunition and gun magazines were found in his car.

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According to Bild, he expressed far-right views in a letter of confession and a video but this has not been confirmed officially.

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The shootings took place around 22:00 local time (21:00 GMT) on Wednesday, and the first target was the Midnight shisha bar in the city centre of Hanau. Witnesses reported hearing about a dozen gunshots, and at least three people were killed.

The suspect then reportedly fled in a dark car to the Kesselstadt neighbourhood and opened fire at the Arena Bar & Cafe, where at least five people were killed.

Shisha bars are places where people gather to smoke a pipe known as shisha or hookah. Traditionally found in Middle Eastern and Asian countries they are also popular in many other parts of the world.

The shootings sparked a seven-hour manhunt, while officers searched for what they thought could have been more than one attacker. They found the suspect and the second body in an apartment near the scene of the second shooting.

Hanau, in Hesse state, is a city of 100,000 residents about 25km (15 miles) east of Frankfurt.

Hesse Interior Minister Peter Beuth said the case was being treated as a terrorist attack, with the first indications pointing to an anti-foreigner motive.

Can-Luca Frisenna, who works at a kiosk at the scene of one of the shootings, said his father and brother had been in the area when the attack took place.

“It’s like being in a film, it’s like a bad joke, that someone is playing a joke on us,” he told Reuters news agency. “I can’t grasp yet everything that has happened. My colleagues, all my colleagues, they are like my family – they can’t understand it either.”

Hanau Mayor Claus Kaminsky told Bild it had been a “terrible night”, adding: “You could not imagine a worse night. It will of course keep us busy for a long, long time and remain a sad memory. I’m deeply moved.”

Katja Leikert, who represents Hanau in the German parliament, the Bundestag, said: “Hopefully the injured recover swiftly. It is a horrific scenario for us all.”

On Twitter, Germany’s government spokesman Steffen Seibert said: “My thoughts are with the people in Hanau this morning, where an appalling crime was committed.”

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