Germany: 'Xenophobic motive' suspected in shootings, at least 9 dead , Latest World News - The New Paper

Germany: 'Xenophobic motive' suspected in shootings, at least 9 dead

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Nine killed in shootings at shisha bar and cafe in Hanau, 20km from Frankfurt

HANAU, GERMANY: German investigators said they suspected a "xenophobic motive" behind shootings at a shisha bar and a cafe on Wednesday that left nine dead in the city of Hanau.

Police found the suspected gunman dead in his home in the early hours of yesterday following a huge manhunt. They said their information suggested the gunman had committed suicide at his home after fleeing in a car.

Federal counter-terror prosecutors have taken over the case.

Sources close to the investigation confirmed media reports that text and video material was found at the home of the perpetrator, who media reported was a 43-year-old man identified only as Tobias R.

Newspaper Bild said the suspect had expressed far-right views in a written confession.

Germany's biggest selling daily newspaper said without citing a source that the suspect left a video claiming responsibility.

In shisha bars, customers share flavoured tobacco from a communal hookah, or water pipe. In Western countries, they are often owned and operated by people from the Middle East or South Asia, where use of the hookah is a centuries-old tradition.

Some of those killed were of Turkish origin, a spokesman for the Turkish presidency said.

"We expect German authorities to show maximum effort to enlighten this case. Racism is a collective cancer," Mr Ibrahim Kalin said on Twitter.

Police said earlier that a second body was also found at the suspect's home, it is believed to be his elderly mother.

"There are no indications that other suspects were involved," police said.

The attacks occurred at two bars in Hanau, about 20km from Frankfurt. The first attack occurred at a bar in the Heumarkt district in central Hanau around 10pm, reports said.

A gunman reportedly rang the doorbell and shot at people in the smoking section, killing five including a woman, Bild said.

"The victims are people we have known for years," the bar manager's son told German news agency DPA.

There was then a second shooting at the Arena Bar. Several people were killed outside the building, local media said, with witnesses reporting hearing a dozen shots.

Mr Can-Luca Frisenna, whose father and brother run one of the two bars attacked, said he rushed there after learning about the shooting.


He said: "I saw them both - they were horrified and they were crying and everything. So everyone was shocked."

Bild said the suspect was a German citizen and that ammunition and gun magazines were found in his vehicle.

He had a firearms hunting licence, it added.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert tweeted: "Deep sympathy goes out to the families concerned, who are mourning the loss of their dead.

"With the injured, we hope they will soon recover." - REUTERS, AFP