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Shooting victims mourned

PRESIDENT Horst Koehler led thousands of Germans yesterday at an emotional remembrance service in Winnenden for the victims of a school massacre that left 16 dead.

Ten days ago 17-year-old student Tim Kretschmer shot dead 12 people at his former school and three more outside before killing himself when he was cornered by police.

"Such acts lead us to the limit of comprehension," Koehler told the service in a packed church, his voice shaking with emotion. "But so long as we can stick with and help each other, we are not helpless."

"The whole of Germany is grieving with you," he added, visibly struggling to hold back tears. "You are not alone."

Schoolmates of the victims lit candles bearing their names at the service, which was broadcast for thousands to see at a nearby stadium, and also carried live on television.

The families of five schoolgirls killed in the attack wrote to Koehler, calling for curbs on young people's access to weapons, a ban on violent video games and less violence on television.


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