Trial begins for 2019 Germany synagogue attack suspect

The gunman threw explosives into the complex and opened fire on the front door of the synagogue. Recently reinforced, it held firm and likely saved the lives of that inside.

Berlin: The trial of a suspect accused of killing two people after an attack on a synagogue in the German city of Halle last year, began on Tuesday.

Prosecutors believe 28-year-old Stefan Balliet was motivated by anti-Semitism and xenophobia and planned to massacre those inside the synagogue, the BBC reported.

On October 9, 2019, a cantor at a synagogue in Halle was leading worshippers in prayer to mark Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, when he saw Balliet on CCTV trying to shoot his way into the building.

The gunman threw explosives into the complex and opened fire on the front door of the synagogue. Recently reinforced, it held firm and likely saved the lives of that inside.

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Upon failing to breach the entrance, he turned his gun on a female passerby and inflicted fatal wounds on her.

He drove off and stopped a few streets away and threw an explosive at a kebab shop and shot dead a 20-year-old man who was inside.

He is believed to have acted alone, having self-radicalised on the internet.

Balliet is charged with two counts of murder and 68 counts of attempted murder.

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