Two people were killed in shooting attacks on a synagogue and a kebab bistro in the eastern German city of Halle on Wednesday and one suspect was arrested, but two others fled in a hijacked a car, officials said.
The two suspects on the loose headed out on a motorway that leads to Munich in the country’s south, according to the mayor of the town of Landsberg, adjacent to Halle. Gunfire was also heard in Landsberg, Focus Online reported.
A spokeswoman for the Halle municipal government said one shooting took place in front of the synagogue on Humboldt street and its accompanying cemetery, while a second burst of gunfire targeted the kebab shop in the city in the province of Saxony.
Max Privorozki, Halle’s Jewish community chairman, described how a gunman tried to shoot his way into the city’s synagogue.
“We saw via the camera system at our synagogue that a heavily-armed perpetrator with a steel helmet and a gun tried to shoot open our doors,” he told the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper. “The man looked like he was from the special forces...But our doors held.
“We barricaded the doors from inside and waited for the police,” he said, adding that about 70-80 people were inside the Humboldt street synagogue celebrating Yom Kippur.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government voiced outrage over the attack on Yom Kippur and urged tougher action against anti-Semitic violence.