18-year-old gunman identified, children among dead
Warning: Video contains footage some viewers may find upsetting
WHAT WE KNOW
- At least nine people have been killed and several injured in a shooting in Munich, NZH reports.
- The body of an 18-year-old German man from Iran identified as lone gunman.
- The attacker is thought to have acted alone, the ABC reports.
- The attack took place outside a McDonald's, close to the Olympia shopping mall in the northern part of the city, not far from the Olympic stadium, shortly before 6pm local time (2am AEST).
- Germany's third largest city is in lockdown, with the transport halted and highways sealed off.
- German President Joachim Gauck said Friday he was "horrified" by the "murderous attack"
UPDATE 11.25AM: At least nine people were brutally murdered in Munich on Friday night, in a shooting which brought bloodshed once more to Europe, INM reports.
Eyewitnesses say a man opened fire at a McDonald's restaurant outside the Olympia shopping centre (OEZ) in the southern German city shortly before 6pm local time. At least nine victims were killed and 21 others injured, some of them critically. The dead, so far unnamed, included adolescents and the injured children.
The body of the suspected gunman was later found 1km away from the scene and police say they believe he may have died by suicide. The police identified him as an 18-year-old Iranian from the city.
"We can give a cautious 'all-clear signal.' It looks like the body found near the OEZ was the gunman," a police spokesman told reporters.
UPDATE 8.00AM: German police are investigating one of the nine recovered bodies to see if it is one of the suspected gunmen.
They believe the man could have been one of the attackers and has died by suicide.
Authorities are still unsure if two more attackers are still at large after witness reports of three attackers.
Angela Merkel's chief of staff, Peter Altmaier says "all that we know and can say right now is that it was a cruel and inhumane attack".
"We can't rule out that there are terrorist links. We can't confirm them, but we are investigating along those lines too," he told the German public channel ARD.
UPDATE 6.42AM: There's no indication the attack is Isis related, a terror expert says. Michael Smith said there was "no mention yet in official IS Telegram channels" of the shooting.
#MUNICH UPDATE Significant slowdown in posts on IS-linked Telegram channels as news spread that the attack may be another group's handiwork.— Michael S. Smith II (@MichaelSSmithII) July 22, 2016
UPDATE 6.30AM: Germany's interior minister has cut short his holiday to the US to return to Berlin to meet with security officials following the attack, AP reported.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama has pledged to provide Germany with whatever help it needs to investigate the deadly shooting, describing the nation as "one of our closest allies".
Facebook has also set up a safety check-in feature.
There are reports a man has killed himself while he was being arrested, Munich Police spokesman Marcus Martins has told AP.
Up to three suspects armed with rifles are still at large, and being hunted by police.
UPDATE 5.20AM: There are reports that three gunmen may be on the loose and a second shooting may have taken place.
The second shooting may have occurred in a nearby metro station but this has yet to be verified.
EARLIER: "Multiple deaths" have been reported after shots were fired at a shopping centre in German city Munich.
Amid conflicting reports, police have reportedly told Germany's DPA news agency "we expect multiple deaths" in the shooting at the OEZ centre. However, the number of fatalities remains unclear.
According to local media source Abendzeitung, Munich Police have said they believe more than one gunman may possibly be involved.
A major police operation is underway in the area.
The shopping centre has been evacuated and the surrounding area is sealed off.
Shop staff members told Reuters that they remain inside and are still hiding.
Videos posted on social media by eyewitnesses appear to show people fleeing the scene.
Images posted online appeared to show at least one body on the ground.
The OEZ is the largest shopping centre in Bavaria.
In a tweet, Munich Police wrote: "Avoid public places. The situation is still unclear."
The area has been on high alert and undergoing increased security following an incident on Monday in which a teenager stabbed a number of people with an axe. Isis claimed responsibility for the attack on Monday.
Zeugen sprechen von mehrern Schüssen wie von Maschinenpistolen. pic.twitter.com/olNbPoUtmV— Oliver Grothmann (@olg66) July 22, 2016
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