Portuguese PM expresses condolences, solidarity to Germany after fatal shootings

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-20 23:37:21|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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LISBON, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa on Thursday expressed his condolences and solidarity to his German counterpart Angela Merkel over the twin shootings in the western German city of Hanau.

"I have conveyed to Chancellor Merkel my solidarity as regards the xenophobic terrorist attack, which caused general consternation in Germany," Costa said in his tweet.

"Intolerance and racism kill. We cannot waver in the defense of the values of democracy. Freedom should never be taken for granted," Costa added.

On Wednesday night, a 43-year-old German gunman attacked a shisha bar in central Hanau around 10 p.m. local time (2100 GMT), before heading to another shisha bar about 2.5 km west and opening fires again.

Nine people were killed in the twin shootings. Police said early Thursday on Twitter that the suspect was found dead at home with another body.

"Based on what we know now, there was definitely a xenophobic motive," German news agency dpa quoted Peter Beuth, interior minister for the state of Hesse, as saying.

"Racism is a poison, hate is a poison. And this poison exists in our society and is to blame for far too many crimes," Merkel said in a statement on the shootings. "We oppose, with all our might, to those who split Germany," she noted.