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Gunman among the dead in shooting at Jehovah's Witness centre in Hamburg, several killed and injured

Several people have been killed in a shooting at a Jehovah's Witness centre in Hamburg, Germany, with the gunman believed to be among the dead, according to local police. The incident occurred on Thursday evening, with the first emergency calls being made around 20:15 GMT after shots rang out at the building in northern Hamburg. The motive of the shooting is not yet known, and police have urged the public not to speculate.

The police sounded an alarm for "extreme danger" in the area, using a catastrophe warning app. Residents were instructed to stay indoors and avoid the area, with police cordoning off streets surrounding the building. German media outlets reported at least six people had been killed, with several more seriously injured. The first police on the scene found several lifeless bodies and seriously wounded people. They also heard a shot in the "upper part of the building" before finding a body in the area where it rang out.


Picture: Kumaon Jagran

The spokesman for the police stated that they did not have any indications of a perpetrator on the run. Instead, officers have "indications that a perpetrator may have been in the building and may be even among the dead." The person uncovered in the upper part of the building was "possibly" the perpetrator, according to the spokesman.

In the non-descript, three-storey building, police said an event had been taking place on Thursday evening. Local daily Hamburger Abendblatt reported that 17 unhurt people, who had been at the event, were being attended to by the fire brigade.


Picture: Kumaon Jagran

The shooting at the Jehovah's Witness centre is the latest in a series of attacks to hit Germany in recent years, both by jihadists and far-right extremists. Among the deadliest attacks committed by Islamist extremists was a truck rampage at a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016 that killed 12 people. The attacker was a supporter of the ISIS group.

Between 2013 and 2021, the number of Islamists considered dangerous in the country had multiplied by five to 615, according to interior ministry data. However, Germany has also been hit by several far-right assaults in recent years, sparking accusations that the government was not doing enough to stamp out neo-Nazi violence. In February 2020, a far-right extremist shot dead 10 people and wounded five others in the central German city of Hanau. And in 2019, two people were killed after a neo-Nazi tried to storm a synagogue in Halle on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

The shooting in Hamburg has shocked the country, with the port city's mayor, Peter Tschentscher, expressing his sympathies to the victims' families. He said that emergency services were doing their utmost to clarify the situation.

The Jehovah's Witnesses are a US Christian movement that preaches non-violence and is known for door-to-door evangelism. Some 175,000 people in Germany, including 3,800 in Hamburg, are Jehovah's Witnesses.

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