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German police respond to ‘possible threat’ at synagogue in Hagen as Jews mark Yom Kippur

German police respond to ‘possible threat’ at synagogue in Hagen as Jews mark Yom Kippur
Dozens of police officers have reportedly been deployed on the streets surrounding a synagogue in the western-German city of Hagen, amid warnings of a “threat” to the building. The alert comes on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.

“We currently have indications of a possible dangerous situation in connection with a Jewish facility in Hagen,” the North Rhine-Westphalia state police department in the neighboring city of Dortmund stated on Wednesday evening. “Police protective measures have been adapted accordingly,” the statement continued, adding: “We are in close contact with the Jewish community.”

A police spokesperson told Reuters shortly afterwards that officers were responding to an unspecified “threat” to the building. 

The nature of the threat remains unclear, but photographs taken by the Westfalenpost, a local newspaper, show heavily armed officers patrolling nearby streets, which have been closed to traffic. 

While initial reports suggested “hundreds” of cops were taking part in the operation, the actual number of officers involved was lost in translation, as “Hundertschaft” is used by the local media to describe police units of various size. 

In a follow-up thread, the North Rhine-Westphalia police said that they were unable to tell when traffic restrictions in Hagen will be lifted. 

The situation unfolded as the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur began at sundown. Yom Kippur is the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, and observant Jews mark the occasion by fasting, praying, and abstaining from work.

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