Two people have been killed in a shooting outside a synagogue in Halle, Germany according to reports. 

According to reports in The Bild and Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, several shots were fired outside a synagogue, with reports suggesting a machine gun was used. 

The exact target of the attack was not clear, since it took place near both a synagogue and a kebab shop, local media and witnesses said.

Police said in a tweet that the suspects fled in a car, and soon after reported that one person had been arrested.

Police have now arrested one person however no details of the person arrested have been given. A statement read: "Our forces have arrested one person. Still, stay alert. We have strong forces in and around Halle and stabilize the situation until all information is secured." 

HeraldScotland:

Officers were out in force across the city hunting down the suspects and urged residents to stay at home or indoors.

The railway station in Halle, a city of 240,000, was closed down as a precaution.

Police gave no details about the target, or targets, of the attack but federal prosecutors, who handle cases involving suspected terrorism or national security, took over the investigation.

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. It was not clear what he was shooting at.

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A statement on Twitter read: "Several shots were fired. The suspects are on the run with a vehicle. We are urgently investigating and are asking people to stay in their homes."

HeraldScotland:

Another tweet read: “According to preliminary findings, two people were killed in Halle. Several shots were fired. The alleged perpetrators fled in a vehicle. We are conducting urgent searches and ask people to stay in their homes.”

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

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A person interviewed on n-tv television said that he had been in a kebab shop when he saw a man with a helmet and military jacket, who he said fired shots into the shop.

Police said that shots were also fired in Landsberg, about 15 miles from Halle.

Conrad Roessler said the man then shot into the shop at least once.

“All the customers next to me ran, of course I did too — I think there were five or six of us in there,” Mr Roessler said. “The man behind me probably died.”

“I hid in the toilet,” he said.

“The others looked for the back entrance. I didn’t know if there was one. I locked myself quietly in this toilet, and wrote to my family that I love them, and waited for something to happen.”

It was not clear whether that incident was related to the shooting in the city.

The railway station in Halle, a city of 240,000, was closed down as a precaution amid the police operation.

The head of Halle’s Jewish community, Max Privorotzki, told news magazine Der Spiegel there were 70 or 80 people inside the synagogue and security outside when the shooting occurred.

Synagogues are often protected by police in Germany.

Police said shots were also fired in Landsberg, about 10 miles from Halle. It was not clear whether the two shootings were related.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, lamented what he called “terrible news from Halle” but government officials said they had no information on the attack.

The European Parliament held a moment of silence at the start of its session on Wednesday to mark the unfolding situation in Halle.