At least five of the victims are Turkish citizens.
Rabat – A suspected far-right extremist has killed at least nine people in attacks on two shisha bars in a city in western Germany. Federal prosecutors are treating the case as terrorism.
The first shooting took place around 10:00 p.m. on February 19 at the Midnight shisha bar in the center of Hanau, a city in western Germany.
The suspect then traveled 2.5 kilometers to the Kesselstadt neighborhood and opened fire at the Arena Bar & Cafe.
German media have identified the 43-year-old shooter as ‘Tobias R,’ a German citizen, reporting that he left behind a letter of confession.
Police found the suspect dead in his home early this morning near the scene of the second shooting, along with the body of his 72-year-old mother. Officials believe he committed suicide.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says at least five of the victims were Turkish citizens, and that he expects the German government to make “necessary efforts to throw light on all aspects” of the attack.
Authorities are currently investigating a video that the suspect allegedly posted online days before the attack. In the video, he reportedly expresses right-wing conspiracy theories.
Far-right violence is a growing concern in Germany, and Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed to do everything possible to clarify the background to the attack.
“There are many indications at the moment that the perpetrator acted on right-wing extremist, racist motives, out of hatred towards people of other origins, religion or appearance,” Merkel stated in Berlin.
“Racism is a poison,” she continued. “Hate is a poison and this poison exists in our society and is already to blame for many crimes.”
Authorities are also examining a website linked to the suspect, according to Hesse Interior Minister Peter Beuth.
“What we know so far is that there is definitely a xenophobic motive. Whether there are claims of responsibility or documents, that’s still being investigated,” he said.
The minister added that the suspect was not known to German authorities.