Germany – A heavily armed assailant with a live-streaming head camera tried unsuccessfully to invade a synagogue during Yom Kippur services in an east German city on Wednesday, then killed two people outside and wounded two others in what the government called an anti-Semitic assault.
It was one of the most brazen in a string of recent attacks aimed at Jews in Germany, and bore a striking resemblance to the rampage by a far-right extremist on two mosques in New Zealand more than six months ago, in which he broadcast his killings live on social media. Fifty-one people died in that attack.
A total of 51 congregants, including 10 young American visitors, were in the synagogue in the eastern city of Halle during the assault, committed on the holiest day in Judaism, but officials said none were believed hurt.
“Based on the information that we have at this point, we must assume that at the least, this was an anti-Semitic attack,” said Horst Seehofer, Germany’s interior minister.
The assailant broadcast at least parts of the attack via Twitch, a live-streaming platform owned by Amazon, which has struggled with moderating the real-time content that floods in from millions of active broadcasters. Alerted to the broadcast, Twitch scrambled to remove it and issue an apology.
There were conflicting accounts on the number of assailants. The police said earlier that at least two and possibly three gunmen had opened fire near the synagogue, but Mr. Seehofer spoke only of one.
The identity of the Halle shooter remained unclear. The identities of the victims were not immediately clear.
Local news media reported that one victim, a man, had been killed in a kebab shop near the synagogue and that a woman had been fatally shot in the street.