Dec 21, 2023

World Leaders Respond to Prague Mass Shooting at Charles University

Prague Morning

Prague Morning

World leaders have reacted to this afternoon’s shooting at Charles University’s Faculty of Arts in central Prague, which has left at least 15 dead and dozens injured.

“I express my deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the Czech people as a whole,” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said in a post on X on Thursday. “We stand and mourn with you.”

 

President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola tweeted. “We should leave no place for such violence in our societies,” Metsola emphasized, underlining the need for concerted efforts to prevent such incidents in the future. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy echoed these sentiments, expressing regret and emphasizing that the victims were innocent individuals.

 

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he was horrified by the news of the shooting at the university in Prague. “My thoughts go out to the victims and their relatives,” Steinmeier said.

Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová reached out to Czech President Petr Pavel, offering condolences and any necessary assistance.

“I am incredibly sorry that such a tragedy occurred at our neighbors near Christmas,” Caputova expressed today, highlighting the poignancy of the incident occurring during a time typically associated with peace and family. German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock conveyed shock and condolences, with Baerbock emphasizing that the attack had struck the “heart of Europe.”

U.S. Ambassador to Czechia Bijan Sabet wrote on X: “Today’s mass shooting in Prague breaks my heart. My deepest condolences to the victims and their families. We [the U.S.] are with you during this difficult time.”

The interior minister, Vit Rakusan, said on social media that the shooting was “unprecedented” in the history of the Czech Republic. “I want to express my sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of all the victims of the shooting,” he said.

PM Fiala: Prague shooting not act of terrorism

Thursday’s shooting at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University was neither international terrorism nor the act of an organised group, Prime Minister Petr Fiala told reporters on Thursday. At the moment, it appears that was the act of a lone gunman, he said.

The Czech Prime Minister said the security forces have assured him that they have the situation fully under control and that there is no danger to citizens. He also asked everyone to cooperate with the police and follow their instruction.

In 2019, a gunman killed six people in a hospital’s waiting room in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava. That had been the deadliest shooting since 2015, when a gunman killed eight people at a restaurant in Uhersky Brod, about 180 miles southeast of Prague.

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