German Merkel, others condemn 'poison' of racism after Hanau shootings

Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday condemned the "poison" of hatred and racism running through German society, after a suspected right-wing extremist shot dead nine people at a shisha bar and a cafe in the city of Hanau. AFP reported

"Racism is a poison, hatred is a poison and this poison exists in our society and it is already to blame for far too many crimes," Merkel told reporters.

"Everything will be done to investigate the circumstances of these terrible murders," Merkel said.

Leader of Merkel's party: Xenophobia is poisoning our society

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), said that xenophobia was a growing problem in Germany.

"It's poison to see people as opponents, to see yourself as better than others, to see fellow citizens as foreigners - that's a poison that is increasingly penetrating society and can ultimately lead to these crimes," she said.

EU chief 'deeply shocked' by Germany shootings

"I am deeply shocked by the tragedy that took place last night in Hanau. My thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims, to whom I want to extend my sincerest condolences. We mourn with you today," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, a former German government minister, tweeted.

EU Council head Charles Michel and European Parliament speaker David Sassoli echoed the sentiments in their own tweets.

At least nine people were killed late on Wednesday as a suspect went on a shooting rampage in Germany, targeting two separate shisha lounges in the western town of Hanau.

The suspect - a 43-year-old German man - and his mother were found dead in his apartment overnight on Thursday.

Police are attempting to identify the victims.

Federal prosecutors have said there are indications of a far-right motive.

Police said the two crime scenes were at Heumarkt, in the centre of Hanau, and Kurt-Schumacher-Platz in the western neighbourhood of Kesselstadt, about 2km away.

The suspect's apartment was also in Kesselstadt.


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