Merkel: ‘Blind Anti-Semitic Hatred’ Drove Pittsburgh Synagogue Attack

German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers her speech at a rally against anti-Semitism near the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Thousands of protesters attended the public rally organized by Germany’s Jewish community at the capital’s Brandenburg Gate after tensions over the Gaza conflict spilled over into demonstrations in …
AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

The deadly shooting rampage at a synagogue in the U.S. city of Pittsburgh on Saturday has been condemned as “blind anti-Semitic hatred” by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“We all have to stand up against anti-Semitism, everywhere,” the German leader said, in a brief statement posted on Twitter by a German government spokesman.

Eleven people were killed and six injured in the shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation, the city’s public safety director Wendell Hissrich said, an attack the FBI is investigating as a federal hate crime.

The man suspected of carrying out the mass murder has been charged with obstructing the exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death, according to the Associated Press. Federal prosecutors say Robert Bowers was charged Saturday night in a 29-count criminal complaint.

Mourners in Pittsburgh held a vigil in memory of the victims on Saturday night.

Merkel, who faces a resurgence of antisemitism in her own country, said her thoughts were with the victims’ families and expressed the hope that those injured would make a full recovery.

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