Germany shootings: What we know about the Hanau attacks?

Nine people have been killed in two shootings at shisha bars in the German city of Hanau, near Frankfurt on Wednesday night. Police say the suspected gunman and his mother were found dead after they stormed the man’s home some hours later. Federal prosecutors have taken over the case and say they suspect a far-right motive for the attacks.

What happened in the attacks? 

There were two attacks several minutes apart on shisha bars – also described as hookah lounges – in two districts of Hanau, a city of some 100,000 people about 20 kilometres from Frankfurt. Witnesses have described how several shots were fired. The attacks happened at around 10pm CET, according to police. Pictures indicate that the name of the first bar attacked is “Midnight” and the second the “Arena Bar and Cafe”. They are situated about two kilometres apart. A manhunt was launched lasting several hours as police sought an unknown number of perpetrators. In photos from the scene a Mercedes car can be seen covered in foil, perhaps indicating that in at least one of the shootings the victims were hit outside the bar. Shisha bars, often associated with the Middle East or South Asia, are places where customers share flavoured tobacco from a communal instrument, known as a hookah.

Who are the victims?

Reports said three people were killed in the first attack, and five more in the second shooting. Police later said the number of fatalities had risen to nine after another person died of their injuries. Several other people are said to have been injured. Their identities have not been confirmed.

How was the suspect found? 

After a seven-hour hunt, police said early on Thursday morning that a suspect had been found dead at his home. The body of another person was discovered at the scene. The apartment is also said to be in Hanau’s Kasselstadt district, near the scene of the second bar attack. AP reported that the police had followed up on witness statements about a getaway car, described as a dark vehicle. Police carried out a search of the flat.

Has any motive been identified?

Federal prosecutors – which investigate serious crimes including terrorism – have taken over the case and say they suspect a far-right motive. They did not give more details about the suspect found dead in the apartment, or the identity of the other person discovered dead at the same premises.

Germany has been on alert for far-right extremism.

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