Rare shooting spree in Czech Republic | News | DW | 24.02.2015
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Rare shooting spree in Czech Republic

The Czech government has ruled out terrorism as the motive for a resident's fatal shooting of eight people in a restaurant in the eastern town of Uhersky Brod. Police say the gunman then killed himself.

A shooting spree in the Czech home town of the #link:http://www.czub.cz/en/pages/114-basic-information.aspx:Ceska Zbrojovka# gun factory ended with the deaths of eight restaurant occupants on Tuesday.

A waitress was hospitalized with wounds. A visitor survived in a restaurant bathroom until he was found by police two hours later.

Arriving at the scene, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said the assailant had had a gun license, adding that, "It was not a terrorist attack."

Europe is on edge after jihadist attacks in Paris in January and Copenhagen earlier this month.

Shots in 'friendship' restaurant

Czech television said the gunman fired 25 rounds during lunchtime in the town's Druzba restaurant, whose name means "friendship."

The mayor of Uhersky Brod, Patrik Kuncar, said the 60-year-old local man was probably mentally unstable and struck alone.

"Nobody believed anything like that could happen in such a small town," Kuncar said.

Uncommon incident in Czech history

Such shootings are very rare in the Czech Republic, an EU nation with a population of 10.5 million and strict gun laws.

Polices spokesman Pavel Stransky told the news agency Associated Press that the gunman killed eight people before killing himself.

Czech public radio said the gunman had called a local television station before the attack, complaining that police were not solving his problems and threatening that he would "take things into his hands."

'Not terrorist attack'

Visiting South Korea, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka offered his condolences to the victims' relatives, saying he was shocked by the incident.

Czech chief police officer Tomas Tuhy said information was still be collated in an ongoing investigation.

Uhersky Brod is a town of about 18,000 residents, near the border with Slovakia.

ipj/gsw (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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