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German Jewish groups accuse police of negligence over synagogue attack

GERMAN police were accused of “negligence” by the country’s largest Jewish community group today for failing to protect a synagogue after two people were shot dead.

President of the Central Council of Jews Josef Schuster said it was “scandalous” that police were not protecting the synagogue in Halle on the Yom Kippur holiday.

“If police had been stationed outside the synagogue, then this man could have been disarmed before he could attack the others,” he said on German radio.

Mr Schuster said that it was “a miracle that there were no further casualties” with around 60 Jewish worshippers inside the building when the gunman opened fire outside.

The incident was streamed on the internet gaming platform Twitch with the gunman heard making anti-semitic comments before opening fire.

Reports say the gunman also tried to set off explosives at the synagogue.

Witnesses said he was heavily armed, and an online anti-semitic “manifesto” attributed to him shows guns, apparently home-made.

Worshippers said they hid behind the synagogue’s heavy locked doors until police arrived, which took more than 10 minutes.

German police union (GdP) said officers were too thinly spread for 24-hour protection of places of worship.

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