Berlin, July 23 (IANS) Unverified videos circulating on social media websites, including Twitter and Facebook are showing a man walk wearing black clothes in front of a McDonalds and pull out a gun before firing at pedestrians.
In a video, presumably shot by a people in the affected area and uploaded on Twitter, shows people running after hearing gunshots.
In another video shot using Twitter’s Periscope, the German police officers were seen moving towards the mall and cordoning off the area.
Many photos circulated on Twitter also show police evacuating people from the Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall in the Moosach district of Munich.
BBC reported that several eye witnesses had seen three attackers carrying guns.
Eyewitness Lynn Stein, who said she works at the Jack Wolfskin store in the mall, told CNN that the shooter was inside the mall.
“I heard several shots,” Stein said. “(I) was just going to buy something while my co-worker was still in the shop. People started running. I went outside as well; more people (were) running outside. I think I heard more shots. Then it sounded like he went to the parking house next to the mall — several shots there.”
Munich police said they suspected the latest assault was a terrorist attack.
Meanwhile, supporters of the Islamic State terrorist group celebrated the shooting on social media.
“Thank God, may God bring prosperity to our Islamic State men,” read one tweet in Arabic on a social media account.
“The Islamic state is expanding in Europe,” read an Arabic-language tweet on another account also known to support Islamic State.
The police is on a manhunt for the attackers.
“At the moment, we have not been able to arrest any perpetrators. The manhunt is underway at high speed,” police said.
“Because of the unclear situation we ask all people in the city area to stay at home or to look for protection in any nearby building. The operation of public transportation service has been stopped.”
Munich police have asked citizens to avoid public places and not to take any photos.
“Please don’t take Fotos or Video of Police Action in order to avoid any helpful Information for the suspects,” the police wrote on Twitter.
The shooting comes just days after a teenage asylum seeker went on the rampage with an axe and a knife on a regional train in Germany, injuring five people.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the teenager was believed to be a “lone wolf” attacker who appeared to have been “inspired” by the Islamic State group but was not a member of the jihadist network, The Local reported.
The attack is the third major act of violence against civilian targets in Western Europe in eight days. Previous attacks in France and Germany were claimed by the Islamic State.