10 dead in suspected terror shooting rampage in Munich mall (Third Lead)

Berlin, July 23 (IANS) At least 10 people were killed and several injured in a shooting rampage at a mall in the German city of Munich and police suspect that the gunman has killed himself.

“We know of at least 10 injured persons. Police operations are still running. The Situation is still not clear. #gunfire #munich,” the Police wrote on its Twitter account.

Munich police have said the suspected gunman in the attack killed himself and may have been acting on his own. The fresh information comes after earlier reports suggested there could have been three gunmen, BBC reported.

Police have declared a terror alarm for south Germany after shooting at Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall in the Moosach district of Munich.

Munich’s main train station was evacuated completely and the city’s transport system was suspended.

People had offered space to the stranded people in their own homes on social media, using the hashtag #Offenetuer — which means “open door” — for people who are stranded without a way to get home, BBC reported.

The Czech Republic’s interior minister, Milan Chovanec, had told local television that the country’s border was reinforced in case the Munich attacker or attackers tried to flee, German broadcaster NTV reported.

A state of emergency was declared in Munich, with special operations underway.

Reports of shooting at the Marienplatz station in Munich also made rounds in the media.

Reports also say a gunman opened fire in Stachus Square, Munich’s main square just three miles away from the Munich Olympia centre.

Terrified shoppers were seen running for their lives from the Munich Olympia Shopping Centre after hearing gunshots.

A video purporting to show the shooter, dressed in black, firing 20 shots has been posted on Twitter. The footage shows him outside a McDonald’s directly outside the shopping centre.

The area around the Munich Olympia Shopping Centre was sealed off.

Police had told people to stay at home and avoid the streets.

Munich Police believe there are several perpetrators on the loose in Munich and none of have been caught yet.

The anti-terror special unit of the federal police was deployed to the city. Border patrol helicopters were deployed to hunt for the attackers.

The security forces have been on alert after an Afghan teen attacked and severely injured five people with an axe on a train in Bavaria on Monday.

The authorities had warned of the danger of further attacks.

The shopping mall is located next to the Olympic Stadium in the city where 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were murdered by the Black September Palestinian militant group during the Olympic Games in 1972.

US President Barack Obama on Friday pledged support to Germany in the wake of the shooting rampage.

The US has also issued an advisory for its citizens in Germany asking them to maintain a high level of vigilance and take steps to enhance personal security.

President Obama, who was briefed about the attack on the Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall, said, “We don’t yet know exactly what’s happening there, but obviously our hearts go out to those who may have been injured. We are going to pledge all the support they may need.”

Britain’s foreign secretary Boris Johnson tweeted that he was “shocked and saddened” by the shooting.

“Deeply shocked & saddened by #Munich shootings. My thoughts are w/ the victims, their loved ones & all #Germany at this time,” he Tweeted.

–IANS

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