Students march in Prague to honor the victims of the worst mass killing in Czech history

Hundreds of students and others have marched in silence in the Czech capital to honor the victims of the country’s worst mass killing two weeks ago that left 14 dead

Via AP news wire
Thursday 04 January 2024 14:52 GMT

Hundreds of students and other Czechs marched in silence in the Czech capital on Thursday to honor the victims of the country’s worst mass killing two weeks ago that left 14 dead.

The march started at an impromptu memorial in front of Prague’s Charles University headquarters where thousands came to light candles after the Dec 21 shooting.

“Our academic community has been hurt but not broken,” Charles University Rector Milena Králíčková said. “Our steps on the streets of Prague towards the Faculty of Arts will symbolize our way to recovery.”

Králíčková together with Faculty of Arts Dean Eva Lehečková led the march carrying an oil lamp lit from the candles through Prague’s Old Town to the nearby Palach Square where the shooting occurred inside the main faculty building.

Twenty-five other people were wounded before the gunman killed himself.

The students formed a human chain around the building in a symbolic hug before lighting a fire at the square while bells in nearby churches tolled for 14 minutes.

Meanwhile, university authorities were working with police and the Education Ministry on possible plans and measures to improve security.

The shooter was Czech and a student at the Faculty of Arts. Investigators do not suspect a link to any extremist ideology or groups. Officials said they believed he acted alone, but his motive is not yet clear.

Previously, the nation’s worst mass shooting was in 2015, when a gunman opened fire in the southeastern town of Uhersky Brod, killing eight before fatally shooting himself.

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