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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 January 2021

Thousands in Germany to commemorate victims of far-right murders

About 3,000 people to march through Hanau after shooting of nine with immigrant backgrounds last week

Thousands are expected to descend upon Hanau, Germany to commemorate the 10 people, including nine with an immigrant background, who were shot dead by a far-right extremist in the town last week.

Organisers expect 3,000 people to attend the demonstration, which will include a march from the crime scene to Hanau's market square.

It comes a day after 6,000 remembered those who died with a similar procession in Hanau, Germany's DPA news agency reported.

Gunman Tobias Rathjen, 43, was found dead at his home alongside his mother, 72, after killing nine people at a shisha bar and cafe in what appears to be a murder-suicide.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has denounced the "poison" of racism after the attack, at a time when far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) has established itself as a legitimate political force.

According to a poll published in Bild am Sonntag, 60 per cent believe the AfD is partly responsible for the attack.

A far-right march in Bulgaria's capital Sofia was cancelled by authorities after the attack in Hanau.

The Lukov March has been held every February since 2003 and is named after a pro-Nazi Bulgarian general from the 1930s.

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said the ideologies behind the Lukov March and the Hanau massacre were little different.

"I also make a connection with the Lukov March, which unfortunately takes place in Bulgaria," Ms Zaharieva said.

"I call on the young people not to blindly believe in ideologies that are against humanity, because that is not much different from what happened in Hanau.

"There was nothing democratic and legal about neo-Nazi chants."

Updated: February 24, 2020 01:27 AM

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