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Thousands rally in Hanau against 'barbaric ideology' of white supremacy

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Thousands rally in Hanau against 'barbaric ideology' of white supremacy
Copyright  AP Photo/Martin Meissner
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Over 6,000 people attended a rally against racism in Hanau, Germany, on Sunday in response to the mass shooting that took place earlier this week.

Protesters marched with banners that read "Fascism and racism kills everywhere" and carried photos of the victims of the shooting.

Some demonstrators singled out the country's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party for spreading xenophobic rhetoric. Members of the victims' families joined the rally.

"In the name of the families we condemn this terrible act. We all became victims of a sick, lawless person with a barbaric ideology," one of the family members said as he addressed crowds on stage after the march.

On Wednesday evening a 43-year-old German shot nine people in two different shisha bars in Hanau.

The AfD has condemned the attack but language used by some politicians in the party in the past has reaffirmed the prejudice that ethnic or religious minorities do not belong in Germany.

The Kantar Institute conducted a survey published in the Bild am Sonntag on Sunday which showed 60% of respondents agreed that the AfD is partly responsible for attacks by right-wing extremists.

And support for the AfD has fallen by two percentage points since the attack on Wednesday, from 11% to 9%, according to a poll published on Saturday by the Forsa Institute.

Violence from the far-right has been on the rise over the last year and this is the third major incident in nine months.

Last June a politician from the Christian Democratic Union party, Walter Lübcke, was shot dead by a neo-Nazi. The victim was targeted for his support of refugees.

And in October a gunman attempted to carry out an attack in a synagogue in Halle. But unable to break down the door, he killed two passers-by instead.

Each of the three attackers were isolated individuals and were radicalised on the internet.