Angela Merkel

German and world leaders condemned on Thursday the deadly shootings in Hanau and pledged to fight against those who try to divide society along ethnic lines.

Speaking Thursday in Berlin, Merkel said “everything will be done to investigate the circumstances of these terrible murders” but that much indicated they were motivated by far-right and racist motives.

Merkel’s comments were echoed by Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Germany’s defence minister: “It is important to clarify the background now and to lead the political debate, what kind of poison does what we have seen here make in our society?”

A 43-year-old German man shot and killed nine people at several locations in Hanau near Frankfurt overnight in attacks that appear to have been motivated by far-right beliefs, according to officials.

He was later found dead near the body of his 72-year-old mother, said Peter Beuth, the interior minister for the state of Hesse.

Hookah lounges are places where people gather to smoke flavoured tobacco from Middle Eastern water pipes.

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