BY DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL JAN 24, 2022 – 8:44 AM GMT+3Police in front of a vehicle during raids in several locations in Dresden, Germany, Dec.15, 2021. (Reuters File Photo)
Amosque in Germany’s Saxony-Anhalt province was targeted in an attack by assault rifles, a report said early Monday.
Two individuals heard shots near the Islamic Cultural Center in Halle, according to a statement made by police, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.
The police discovered three bullets on the ground.
Eyewitnesses noted that a 55-year-old person from a building across the mosque opened fire on the mosque from his home.
Police reportedly confiscated two weapons found in his home.
The police statement noted that the suspect did not have a criminal record and the investigation was still ongoing.
Meanwhile, the Central Council of Muslims in Germany condemned the incident in a Twitter post.
“Thankfully nobody was injured. Police are still investigating and interrogating. Anti-Muslim hatred and racism are not just in words,” the statement read. The council continued by thanking police for catching the suspect and hoping that they shed further light on the incident.
The council also said the mosque had faced similar attacks in the past.
Germany has experienced a rise in racism and anti-Muslim hatred in recent years. Germany is home to 81 million people and hosts the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. Of the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims, at least 3 million are of Turkish descent.
The Turkish community in Europe is concerned with the rising trend of Islamophobia and Turkophobia in Western countries and has called on European states to escalate measures against hate crimes.
Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have frequently urged European decision-makers and politicians to take a stance against racism and other types of discrimination that have threatened the lives of millions of people living within the bloc’s borders.