Two dead after gunman opens fire with machine gun outside synagogue in Germany

Two people have died and multiple others have been injured after "several armed culprits" reportedly opened fire near a synagogue in Germany.

The devastating incident comes on one of the most important and holiest days of the Jewish faith, Yom Kippur.

The shooting happened at around 12midday in the city of Halle in the east of the country, with police confirming there have been fatalities.

They say it is an "ongoing operation" as they hunt the suspects who fled the scene in a car in the direction of Leipzig.

A hand grenade is also said to have been thrown at a nearby Jewish cemetery.

Police are urging people to stay inside their homes or "find safe places" as the gunmen remain on the loose.

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They have sealed off the area in the Paulus district and the station in Halle has also been closed over security fears.

All available police units are currently being moved to Halle and it has been deemed a "special situation".

According to local media, a gunman fired several shots with a machine gun, hitting a woman and injuring several others.

"We have a deployment in Halle," local police said on Twitter.

"According to preliminary findings, people killed.

"We are conducting urgent searches. Perpetrator on the run. Please stay at home or look for another secure place."

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