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Site says deadly shooting outside synagogue in Germany was streamed live online

A heavily armed assailant shouting anti-Semitic sentiments tried to force his way into a synagogue in eastern Germany on Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day, then killed two people as he fired shots outside the building in an attack Wednesday (overnight NZT) that was livestreamed on a popular gaming site.

The attacker shot at the door of the synagogue in the city of Halle but did not get in as 70 to 80 people inside were observing the holy day, a local Jewish leader said.

"The root of all problems are the Jews!" the attacker shouted in English before the shooting, according to the head of the SITE Intelligence Group, who wrote on Twitter that 35 minutes of footage of the attacks were posted online.

Rita Katz said it showed the attacker shooting a woman in the street after failing to enter the synagogue, then entering a business and killing another person before fleeing.

Germany's top security official, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, said authorities must assume that it was an anti-Semitic attack, and said prosecutors believe there may be a right-wing extremist motive to it. He said several people were injured.

The filming of Wednesday's attack echoed another horrific shooting halfway around the world when a far-right white supremacist in March killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and livestreamed much of the attack on Facebook.

That massacre drew strong criticism of social media giants for not immediately finding and blocking such a violent video.

Video of the attack was livestreamed on Twitch, which said it had "worked with urgency" to remove it. Twitch said it would permanently suspend any account found to be posting or reposting "content of this abhorrent act."

The attack was the third to target a synagogue in a year, following attacks in the United States on synagogues in Pittsburgh and Poway, California.

Police said in a tweet early Wednesday afternoon that "the suspected perpetrators" had fled in a car after the attacks and quickly reported that one person had been arrested.

A video clip broadcast by regional public broadcaster MDR showed a man in a helmet and an olive-coloured top getting out of a car and firing four shots from behind the vehicle from a long-barreled gun.

Police officers walk in front of a Jewish cemetery in Halle, Germany. Source: Associated Press