sexta-feira, 22 de julho de 2016

Munich gunman acted alone, motive unknown

Munich gunman acted alone, motive unknown
Chancellor Angela Merkel to chair emergency meeting of security council Saturday.

By KATE DAY AND LOUISE ROUG 7/23/16, 3:10 AM CET Updated 7/23/16, 7:18 AM CET

A shooting at Munich’s biggest shopping center on Friday in which at least 9 people were killed was carried out by a single gunman who then committed suicide, German police said.

The motive behind the killings was unclear, Munich police chief Hubertus Andra said.

The shooter was identified as an 18-year-old man with Iranian and German nationality who had lived in Munich for at least two years. Andra told a press conference it was “totally unclear” whether the incident was an act of terror.

Twenty-one people, including several children, were taken to the hospital. Police report 16 are injured and three remain in a critical condition.

Andra said that there was no evidence that this “brutal and violent act” should give people reason to feel unsafe or hide away, but added that “there is no such thing as 100 percent safety or security.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel called an emergency meeting for her security council on Saturday, her chief of staff said. The German interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, who was on a flight to the U.S. on holiday, interrupted his trip and headed home for crisis talks, according the ministry.

Horst Seehofer, the Bavarian premier, and Joachim Hermann, the state’s interior minister, also held crisis talks, according to Die Welt.

Munich events and public transport were slated to resume as scheduled Saturday.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack police believed there were three attackers on the run and authorities began an extensive manhunt, locking down neighborhoods and asking people to stay home as subway and bus services were discontinued. The streets of this leafy, laid-back city turned ghostly as neighborhoods near the mall were deserted. A state of emergency was declared across Munich.

People leaving work found themselves stranded without transportation and residents offered shelter to strangers, tweeting under the hashtag #offenetür and #opendoor. Parliament, mosques and Sikh temples in Munich also opened their doors to the public.

Police deployed 2,300 officers, bringing in extra reinforcement from around the country and even from across the border in Austria and Switzerland.

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, tweeted, “All of Europe now with #Munich.”

President Barack Obama told reporters that he was being briefed on the developing situation, calling Germany a close ally and saying the U.S. government will “pledge all the support that they may need” in the investigation.

The U.K. Foreign Minister Boris Johnson tweeted, “Deeply shocked & saddened by #Munich shootings. My thoughts are w/ the victims, their loved ones & all #Germany at this time.”

The shooting began in Hanauer Straße and then shifted to the Riesstraße — streets close to the Olympia shopping center — before moving into the mall itself shortly before 6 p.m., according to the official Facebook page of the Munich police.

German security forces have been on alert since a man stabbed five people on a train in Bavaria on Monday, and fears over terror attacks have risen sharply, according to a poll published on Friday.

The Munich police department, which shared live updates on Twitter in German, French, English and Turkish throughout the evening, asked the public not to post any photos or videos of the attack to social media but rather upload it directly to police so that it might aid the investigation. A video published online appeared to show a man opening fire at a McDonald’s restaurant near the mall. Another video shared online showed what appeared to be a shooter on the roof of a garage nearby.

Sigmar Gabriel, the German vice chancellor, tweeted that while the news out of Munich was shocking, speculation would not be helpful.


Kate Day and Louise Roug  

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