Germany ups police presence after Hanau twin shootings

2020-02-22 10:42:08Xinhua Editor : Feng Shuang ECNS App Download

Following the fatal shooting attack in Hanau, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Friday that Germany will increase police presence throughout the country.

On Wednesday night, a 43-year-old German gunman killed nine people of immigrant background in the city of Hanau before killing his mother and himself, according to German media reports.

Especially "sensitive sites" are to be guarded more closely, Seehofer said at a press conference here. Police presence at railway stations, airports and Germany's borders will also be increased, he said.

Seehofer stressed that the immediate response plan was supported by all interior ministers of Germany's federal states in order to protect the population and to prevent possible copycat criminals from committing "racially motivated terrorist attacks."

Heightened police presence is particularly important as Germany is scheduled to host several major events this weekend, said Seehofer. The carnival season has just started and there will be numerous large events at several locations until next Tuesday. "The security threat from right-wing extremism, anti-Semitism and racism is very high," he said.

Last week, German authorities conducted raids on a right-wing extremist group and arrested 12 suspects for allegedly planning terror attacks. Large quantities of explosives and hand grenades, as well as automatic weapons, have been seized. "This has prevented further attacks," said Seehofer.

Meanwhile, investigations into the fatal shooting attack in Hanau have been taken over by the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office.

German authorities have found videos and statements with "absurd" conspiracy theories and "deeply racist sentiments" on the homepage of the suspect, said Public Prosecutor General Peter Frank.

Furthermore, investigators have been checking mobile phone and computer data to identify the Hanau attacker's contacts, Frank explained, adding that "this must be done thoroughly and carefully." Enditem


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