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Anti-Semitic attack in Hamburg: the perpetrator, a German with Kazakh roots, is mentally ill

German investigators said Monday they were probing an attack on a Jewish student outside a synagogue in Hamburg as attempted murder with anti-Semitic intent, a case condemned by Chancellor Angela Merkel as a "disgrace".

The 26-year-old student was badly injured on Sunday by a man who repeatedly struck him on the head with a shovel outside the synagogue where the Jewish community was celebrating Sukkot, also known as the Feast of the Tabernacles.

The suspect is a 29-year-old German with Kazakh roots, who is said to have been acting in an "extremely confused" manner. The attack is the latest in a series of anti-Semitic incidents.

Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the attack on Monday. "Such an attack is repulsive, no matter what investigations about the motivation and the condition of the perpetrator might show," Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement.

The assault came almost exactly a year after two people were shot dead by an extremist who tried and failed to storm a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle.

Anti-Semitic crimes have risen steadily, with 2,032 offences recorded in 2019, up 13 percent on the previous year.

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