German police announced Thursday that a shooting at a Jehovah’s Witness centre in Hamburg. It had claimed several lives, with the shooter perhaps among them. Many local media outlets reported that the shooting had left seven people dead and eight badly injured. However, police have not released a death toll.
According to a police official on the scene, the initial emergency calls came in around 20:15 GMT. It therefore happened after bullets were fired at the building in the city’s Gross Borstel neighbourhood.
According to a tweet from the police, “a number of individuals were critically injured, some even fatally,” in the incident.
A catastrophe warning app had sounded an alarm for “severe danger” in the area. However, just after 3 am local time, Germany’s Federal Office for Civil Protection lifted it. Early on Friday, the Munich police tweeted: “Police presence is gradually being reduced in the neighbourhood. The circumstances surrounding the incident are still being looked examined.” Peter Tschentscher, the mayor of the port city, tweeted his dismay at the shooting. He also expressed his condolences to the families of the fatalities and added that emergency services were making every effort to make the situation clear.
Attack on Jehovah Bible Group:
Police claimed that on Thursday night something had happened in the unremarkable, three-story building. As per the neighbourhood newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt, Jehovah’s Witnesses had assembled for their weekly Bible study.
Over 175,000 members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a late 19th-century US Christian movement. Which is also popular for its door-to-door evangelism and non-violent message, reside in Germany, including 3,800 in Hamburg. Authorities also said that the first cops on the site discovered a number of dead bodies and badly injured people.
Hamburger Abendblatt also tells that the fire department was taking care of 17 attendees who were unharmed.
Attacks in Germany:
Recent years have seen a number of attacks in Germany, both by far-right and Islamic extremists.
12 people were killed in a vehicle rampage at a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016—one of the bloodiest acts by Islamist extremists.
The attacker from Tunisia, a failed asylum applicant, further backed the extremist organization ISIS.
Because of its membership in the coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the most populated country in Europe continues to be a target for Islamist organizations.
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