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Police believe rival 'Hells Angels' biker gangs behind Frankfurt shooting

Police are extending their search for members of rival biker gangs believed to be responsible for a shooting in Frankfurt on Thursday. Two men were left seriously injured.

Two people were seriously injured on Thursday night in the center of Frankfurt when shots were fired from a car with a "Recalling Hells Angels" plaque on it, near the Friedrich-Stoltze Square. The area was busy as locals enjoyed the Ascension Day holiday.

Rivalries between various "Hells Angels" biker gangs are believed to be the cause of the violence.

"We assume that there was a dispute between bikers," Nadia Niesen, spokesperson for the Frankfurt prosecutor's office said on Friday.

There has been a history of conflict between the gangs in the city, Germany's financial center and home to the European Central Bank. Previous clashes have taken place around the city's railway station, but the Friedrich-Stoltze Square appears to have been chosen as the site of the clash on Thursday.

The two men wounded in the shooting were hospitalized and recovering on Friday. One was 20 years old, the other 41 years old and both are believed to have their origins in the former Yugoslavia.

Police expressed relief on Friday that no one else had been injured in the square where so many people had gathered in the various bars and cafes. "It could have been far worse," a police officer commented.

It was unclear from the police if witness statements had brought further evidence to light. A black vehicle and a motorcycle were believed to have been used in the attack. While many people heard the shots, few people were able to give accurate accounts of what had happened. A terrorist motive for the attack has been ruled out.

jm/sms (dpa)

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