Tragic Incident at Prague University Results in a Minimum of 14 Fatalities and Dozens Injured

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In a tragic incident at a university in the heart of Prague, a student opened fire, leaving 25 individuals wounded, including three foreign nationals, in one of the Czech Republic’s most devastating attacks in recent memory. The assailant, a 24-year-old student, carried out the mass shooting in the philosophy department building of Charles University, claiming the lives of at least 14 people, according to authorities who spoke on Friday.

Police in Prague worked tirelessly through the night to identify the victims, and Minister Vit Rakusan confirmed that three of the wounded were foreigners, hailing from Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands. While the State Department spokesperson for the United States reported no knowledge of any U.S. citizens being harmed in the attack, the situation remained fluid, and authorities cautioned that the death toll could potentially rise.

The tragedy unfolded on Thursday, and the university, where the shooter was enrolled, became a scene of mourning as people gathered for an impromptu vigil near the university headquarters, lighting candles to pay tribute to the victims. The police, sealing off the shooting site, increased security measures at schools and other vulnerable locations as a precaution.

The assailant, whose identity remains undisclosed, was found deceased at the scene, and officials indicated that he had legally owned multiple firearms. The motive for the attack and details about the victims remained scarce, with investigators not suspecting any connection to extremist ideologies or groups.

Police Chief Martin Vondrasek revealed that the assailant was believed to have killed his father earlier in the day in his hometown before carrying out the university shooting. Additional suspicion arose regarding an earlier incident on December 15, where the gunman was suspected of killing a man and his 2-month-old daughter in Prague.

Expressing shock and condolences, leaders from various countries, including the United States, and the U.N. Secretary-General, conveyed their sympathy. The Czech government declared a national day of mourning on Saturday to honor the victims. President Petr Pavel expressed his shock and offered condolences to the victims’ families.

The incident took place in Jan Palach Square, a bustling tourist area near Prague’s Old Town, just minutes away from the popular Old Town Square and its Christmas market. As chaos unfolded, authorities evacuated the building, searching for explosives, and police vehicles sped across a nearby bridge, sealing off the square.

In the aftermath of this tragic event, the Czech capital grapples with the shock and grief of one of its worst attacks in recent history, prompting a collective call for increased preventive measures and security awareness on and around campuses.

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