Jehovah’s Witness church experiences bloody incident

Jehovah’s Witness church experiences bloody incident

The German city of Hamburg is reeling from a tragic shooting incident that occurred at a Jehovah’s Witness centre, resulting in the deaths of seven people and dozens more injured.

The incident began at approximately 9pm on Friday morning AEDT in the GrossBorstel district of the city. Police quickly responded with a major operation, sealing off several streets and urging residents to stay indoors and avoid using their phones unless absolutely necessary.

A specialised armed unit was already in the area and quickly evacuated people from the building, including a pregnant woman.

Police have confirmed that the gunman was among the dead, but have not released any information about a possible motive for the attack. Eyewitnesses reported chaos and confusion in the aftermath of the shooting, with people running in all directions and screams filling the air.

The city’s police have asked the public not to speculate about the shooting and to refrain from spreading rumors.

An estimated 175,000 Germans, including 3,800 in Hamburg, are Jehovah’s Witnesses, a US Christian movement known for door-to-door evangelism that preaches nonviolence.

Germany has experienced several attacks in recent years, both by jihadists and far-right extremists. Among the deadliest committed by Islamist extremists was a truck rampage at a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016 that killed 12 people.

The Tunisian attacker, a failed asylum seeker, was a supporter of the Islamic State jihadist group.

Germany remains a target for jihadist groups due to its participation in the anti-Islamic State coalition in Iraq and Syria. The number of Islamists considered dangerous in the country had multiplied by five to 615, according to interior ministry data from 2013 to 2021.

The country has also been hit by several far-right assaults, 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 city’s mayor has extended his condolences to the victims and their families, and the forces are working at full speed to pursue the perpetrators and clarify the background.

»Jehovah’s Witness church experiences bloody incident«

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