The German government is facing calls to do more to combat the threat of far-right extremism as tens of thousands of people attend vigils for the nine victims of a far-right extremist who killed at shisha bars in Hanau, Germany.
The Thursday vigils in Hanau and Berlin people carrying candles and white roses gathered in silence after the attack on Wednesday evening’s being treated by investigators as an act of terrorism.
Germany’s Federal Prosecutor Peter Frank said the suspect, Tobias R, 43, posted material online that showed a “deeply racist mindset”.
All of the victims were of immigrant backgrounds, and several are thought to be of Kurdish origin.
In a statement, the Kon-Med association of Kurds in Germany said that it was “furious” with the authorities for “not resolutely opposing right-wing networks and right-wing terrorism”.
Germany’s Muslim association KRM also called for more to be done, saying they had requested for months there needed to be “a clear stand against Islamophobia”.
In her response to the attack Chancellor Angela Merkel talked of the “poison of racism”, while attending one of the vigils President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Germany “won’t be intimidated”.
The shootings sparked a manhunt. Police identified the gunman through information from witnesses and surveillance cameras. Early on Thursday, they stormed the suspect’s home, near the scene of the second shooting.
The suspect and his 72-year-old mother were found in his apartment, both also shot. A gun was found next to the suspect’s body.