Shooting near German synagogue leaves 2 people dead; 1 suspect arrested, police say

At least one person was arrested in eastern Germany Wednesday after at least two people were shot and killed near a synagogue, police said.

Several shots were fired in the city of Halle, near Leipzig, and the suspects fled the scene. Investigators said one suspect was arrested but warned to "still stay alert."

Further information from officials was not immediately available, but local media outlets reported the shooting took place near a synagogue.

One of the suspects was allegedly armed with "multiple weapons" and wearing a military-style uniform, DW reported.

Authorities said shots were also fired Wednesday in Landsberg, roughly 15 miles away from Halle. It was not immediately clear whether the two shootings were connected.

The shooting comes as the world celebrates Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, in which worshippers atone for their sins.

The head of Halle's Jewish community, Max Privorotzki, told news magazine Der Spiegel there were 70 or 80 people inside the synagogue and security outside when the shooting occurred on Wednesday.

Synagogues are often protected by police in Germany, and police in two other eastern cities -- Dresden and Leipzig -- stepped up security at synagogues there after the shooting in Halle.

Information about a motive or possible targets was not immediately clear. However, federal prosecutors — who handle cases involving suspected terrorism or national security — took over the investigation, officials said.

A spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said government officials had no information on the attack but described the situation as "terrible news from Halle."

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