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Romanian Confirmed Among Victims In Mass Shooting In Germany

A police officer helps a woman to light a candle for a makeshift memorial to victims of a mass shooting in Hanau, near Frankfurt in Germany.

One of the nine victims of a shooting spree in the German city of Hanau this week was a Romanian citizen, Romania's president, Klaus Iohannis, tweeted early on February 21.

"I have found out with deep sadness that a Romanian citizen was among the victims of the violent attacks in Hanau, Germany," Iohannis wrote.

Romanian media reports said the victim is Viorel Paun, a 23-year-old man from a village in the southern Giurgiu county.

Germany's public prosecutor said nine people of foreign descent were killed in a pair of attacks in Hanau late on February 19, before the alleged shooter -- identified as Tobias R -- returned to his home and killed himself and his 72-year-old mother.

The authorities believe he acted alone and are investigating the case as an act of terrorism.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said the attack was motivated by racism. "Racism is a poison. Hatred is a poison. And this hate exists in our society," Merkel said in her first reaction to the news.

In response to the attack, Germany's Social Democrats (SPD), who are part of the ruling coalition, called for the domestic intelligence services to monitor the activities of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), currently the largest opposition party in parliament.

There is no proven link between the shooter and the AfD. Several party members denounced the shooting on February 20.

Based on reporting by dpa,,, and