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pittsburgh synagogue attack


President Donald Trump has visited the synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 Jewish worshippers were shot dead on October 27.

The president was joined by the First Lady, his daughter and son-in-law at the Tree of Life temple in Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters gathered on the street chanting slogans against President Trump.

The visit came as mourners attended the first funerals for victims of the massacre.

The Trumps were greeted on October 30 by Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who led them inside the temple, where the worst anti-Semitic attack in US history unfolded on October 27.

Pittsburgh Synagogue Attack: 11 People Shot Dead During Sabbath Service

At a memorial outside, Melania Trump placed a flower and the president laid a small stone on a marker for each of the victims.

President Trump was joined by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is Jewish, and his daughter Ivanka, who converted to Judaism when she married Jared Kushner. Both are White House advisers.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is Jewish, also joined the president.

Before his visit, President Trump condemned anti-Semitism. The alleged gunman was not a Trump supporter.

Critics accuse President Trump of fomenting a surge in white nationalist and neo-Nazi activity through divisive rhetoric which has seen him criticize immigrants and Muslims in particular.

Some Jewish figures and Pittsburgh’s Democratic Mayor Bill Peduto opposed the presidential visit.

More than 70,000 people signed an open letter from Pittsburgh-based Jewish leaders saying that President Donald Trump was “not welcome” in the city unless he “fully denounces white nationalism”.

The top four Republican and Democratic congressional leaders declined a White House invitation to join President Trump in Pennsylvania.

The White House has rejected any blame over the attack.

According to Reuters, members of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community were among about 2,000 demonstrators who held a protest.

As President Trump arrived at the synagogue, demonstrators chanted “President Hate, leave our state” and “Words have meaning”.

Image source 6abc

A 46-year-old man suspected of killing 11 people in a synagogue in Pittsburgh has been charged with murder – in what is believed to be the worst anti-Semitic attack in recent US history.

Robert Bowers is accused of opening fire at the Tree of Life synagogue during its Sabbath service.

The suspect faces 29 criminal counts, including use of a firearm to commit murder.

Federal prosecutors say they will also file hate crime charges, and Robert Bowers could face the death penalty.

President Donald Trump described the attack as a “wicked act of mass murder”.

Six people – including four police officers – were injured in October 27 attack.

Robert Bowers was also wounded in a shootout with police.

Hundreds of people – from the neighborhood and also all across Pittsburgh – later gathered for an interfaith vigil for the victims of the attack in the synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

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President Trump said he would visit Pittsburgh soon. He also ordered US flags at government buildings to be flown at half-mast until October 31.

On October 27, worshippers had gathered at the synagogue for a baby naming ceremony during the Sabbath.

Squirrel Hill has one of the largest Jewish populations in Pennsylvania and this would have been the synagogue’s busiest day of the week.

Police said they received first calls about an active shooter at 09:54 local time, and sent officers to the scene a minute later.

According to reports, Robert Bowers, a white male, entered the building during the morning service armed with an assault rifle and three handguns.

He had already shot dead 11 people and was leaving the synagogue after about 20 minutes when he encountered Swat officers and exchanged fire with them, FBI agent Robert Jones said.

The gunman then moved back into the building to try to hide from the police.

Robert Bowers surrendered after a shootout, and is now being treated in hospital for what has been described as multiple gunshot wounds.

According to media, the suspect had shouted “All Jews must die” as he carried out the attack.