Eight Dead in Shisha Bars Shootout in Germany

Published February 20th, 2020 - 06:00 GMT
The shootings late Wednesday targeted bars in Hanau, according to local media (AFP Photo/Yann Schreiber)
The shootings late Wednesday targeted bars in Hanau, according to local media (AFP Photo/Yann Schreiber)

Eight people are dead and six more critically hurt after at least one gunman opened fire on two shisha bars last night in the German town of Hanau.

A huge manhunt launched to find the shooter apparently ended early this morning with the discovery of two bodies in a house nearby. 

One one them was said by local reports to be 'the attacker', and police were working to identify the second. 'There are currently no indications of further perpetrators,' police Tweeted.

Earlier another man was arrested near the scene of one of the shootings but it was unclear what his role in the attack may have been. 

Helicopters had scoured the area with police declaring a manhunt to be 'in full swing' after the bloodbath.

The motive for the attack remained unclear after the bodies were found at the house. Local reports said Turkish or Kurdish people were among the victims at the bars.

An attacker is said to have rung the bell at the Midnight shisha lounge and sprayed bullets at people inside when he was let in. He then fled the scene in a dark-coloured car before gunfire rang out at a second bar, Arena, less han two miles away.

At the Midnight bar, one witness told German newspaper Bild: 'Someone with a gun came in and shot people.' Other witnesses told of eight or nine shots ringing out just after 10pm local time with one man seen lying prone on the ground after the shooting.

Three people died at Midnight and five at Arena, officials said.

A silver Mercedes covered in thermal foil blankets with shattered glass next to it could be seen standing outside Midnight bar after the killings, behind a police cordon.

Bullet casings were left scattered across the road after the massacre and a man was seen being handcuffed by police.

Forensic experts in white overalls collected evidence from the scene as emergency services swarmed the area.

Heavily armed police sealed off two streets where ambulances had rushed and a police helicopter hovered over the city.

Around thirty police cars were seen leaving Hanau police station and, according to witnesses, police officers with machine guns were deployed across the city.

Early today local mayor Claus Kaminsky said: 'It's a terrible evening.' He urged people not to speculate over the motive.

'This will certainly occupy us for a long, long time and we will remember with sadness,' he added.

The area's MP Katja Leikert tweeted: 'On this terrible night in Hanau, I wish the families of those killed a lot of strength and condolences.' She said she was 'shocked' by the incident.

Hanau is a city of 100,000 people around 12 miles east of Germany's finance hub Frankfurt.

Germany has been targeted in recent years by several extremist attacks, one of which killed 12 people in the heart of Berlin in December 2016.

But far-right attacks have become a particular concern for German authorities.

In October, a deadly anti-Semitic gun attack in the eastern city of Halle on the holy day of Yom Kippur underscored the rising threat of neo-Nazi violence. The rampage, in which two people were shot dead, was streamed live.

Last June conservative politician Walter Luebcke, an advocate of a liberal refugee policy, was shot at his home.

On Friday police arrested 12 members of a German extreme right group believed to have been plotting 'shocking' large-scale attacks on mosques similar to the ones carried out in New Zealand last year.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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