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Swastikas painted on artwork honouring victims of anti-Semitic attack in Halle, Germany

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The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany Josef Schuster stands in front of the synagogue in Halle, eastern Germany, on October 09, 2020
The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany Josef Schuster stands in front of the synagogue in Halle, eastern Germany, on October 09, 2020   -   Copyright  AFP
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Artwork commemorating victims of the anti-Semitic shootings in Halle have been vandalised, Germany police have announced.

A series of graffiti bearing the first names of the two victims were painted across the city by activists, along with the words "Never forget".

But some had been covered with red swastikas on Thursday evening - the eve of the first anniversary of the attack, police said.

A probe has been launched into the vandalism.

The attempted shooting in Halle, eastern Germany, in October 2019 shocked Germany to its core and is considered one of the worst anti-Semitic assaults in the country's post-war history.

Two people were killed after a gunman failed to enter a synagogue on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, where 52 worshippers were inside.

The attacker then shot at a passer-by in the street and killed a man at a nearby kebab stand.

The trial of the 28-year-old male suspect began in July.

Several ceremonies, including one with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, were held on Friday to mark the anniversary of the attack.

German authorities have been alarmed for some years now about the resurgence of antisemitism in the country.

On Monday, authorities launched an "attempted murder" investigation after a Jewish student was "seriously injured" outside a synagogue in Hamburg.