18:01 GMT +316 October 2019
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     Man shoots from long-barrelled gun, in Halle, Germany, Wednesday Oct. 9, 2019

    Halle Synagogue Killer Acquired Military Shooting Skills in Bundeswehr - Report

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    German media reported earlier on Friday that Stephan Balliet, 27, the gunman behind a deadly shooting in the German city of Halle, confessed after hours of interrogation that he was motivated by his anti-Semitic beliefs.

    Der Spiegel said later in the day, citing the ongoing investigation, that Balliet was conscripted into the German army (Bundeswehr) in 2010-2011 where he learned and developed skills, as part of his obligatory military service, to use military-grade assault rifles and pistols. The German media also noted, citing the gunman's military record, that during his service, Balliet was an ordinary soldier with no suspicious behaviour.

    The attack in Halle occurred on Wednesday during celebrations of Yom Kippur, one of the holiest days of the year in Judaism. Two people were killed – a 40-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man – and two others were injured.

    Before opening fire, Balliet reportedly tried to enter the closed synagogue where some 50 people were praying. He reportedly attached a GoPro camera to his helmet and live-streamed the killings.

    Balliet is currently held in isolation in the city of Karlsruhe, where the German Supreme Court is located. German Public Prosecutor General Peter Frank earlier suggested that the gunman may have had an accomplice.

    Interior Minister Horst Seehofer admitted Thursday that the threat of anti-Semitic extremism in Germany is "very high".

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    Tags:
    Germany, Investigation, Bundeswehr, Shooting, synagogue, Halle, Stephan Balliet
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