German-Iranian shooter kills at least nine in Munich attack

Published: July 22, 2016
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Police secures the area inside a shopping center in Munich on July 22, 2016 following a shooting. PHOTO: AFP

Police secures the area inside a shopping center in Munich on July 22, 2016 following a shooting. PHOTO: AFP

MUNICH: Gunmen attacked a busy mall in the German city of Munich on Friday evening, killing at least eight people and sending shoppers running for their lives from what police said was a terrorist attack.

Authorities told the public to get off the streets as the city – Germany’s third biggest – went into lockdown with transport halted and highways sealed off.

The shooting spree began before 1600 GMT at a McDonald’s restaurant and continued on a nearby street before the gunmen moved into the mall near the Olympic stadium in the southern German city, a police spokesperson said.

The city was placed under a state of emergency as police hunted for them.

“We are telling the people of Munich there are shooters on the run who are dangerous,” he said. “We are urging people to stay indoors.”

A screen grab taken from video footage shows plain clothes police officers running towards car park of the Olympia shopping mall during shooting rampage in Munich, Germany July 22, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

A ninth body had also been found and they were checking to see it was one of the gunmen, police added.

There was no information about the possible motives of the attack.

Europe has been on alert for terrorism in the wake of a string of attacks including bombings in neighbouring France and Belgium.

The OEZ shopping centre was surrounded by armed police, while a helicopter buzzed overhead.

“Many shots were fired, I can’t say how many but it’s been a lot,” said a shop worker hiding in a store room inside the mall.

“There is a major police operation under way in the shopping centre,” Munich police said on Twitter, urging people to avoid the area.

Police halt traffic on a road near to the scene of a shooting rampage at the Olympia shopping mall in Munich, Germany July 22, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

“Attention – avoid the neighbourhood around the OEZ. Stay in your homes. Leave the street,” the Munich police tweet said.

Germany has so far escaped the kind of large-scale extremist attacks seen in France.

But the shooting comes just days after a teenage asylum seeker went on a rampage with an axe and a knife on a regional train in Germany on Monday, injuring five people, two of them critically.

One victim is still fighting for his life, the hospital treating him said Friday.

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 extremist network.

Authorities said he shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) three times as he ran through the carriage slashing passengers on the train near the southern city of Wuerzburg.

The attacker is believed to be either Afghan or Pakistani and investigators are still trying to determine his identity.

The train rampage triggered calls by politicians in Bavaria, of which Munich is the capital, to impose an upper limit on the number of refugees coming into the country.

Germany plans to assume greater security role

The assailant had arrived as an unaccompanied minor in Germany in June 2015 and had been staying with a foster family in the region of the attack for the last two weeks.

A record 1.1 million migrants and refugees were let in to Germany last year, with Syrians making up the largest group followed by Afghans.

In the latest attack in France, 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel used a truck to mow down 84 people, including children, in the Riviera city of Nice last week.

It was the third major attack on French soil in the past 18 months, after the carnage in Paris in November and the shootings at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in January 2015.

Islamic State claims first German attack with train axe assault

In March, Islamic State-claimed suicide bomb attacks at Brussels airport and a city metro station left 32 people dead.

In May in Germany, a mentally unstable 27-year-old man carried out a knife attack on a regional train in the south of the country, killing one person and injuring three others.

Obama vows support for Germany after Munich shooting

US President Barack Obama has pledged support to Germany in the wake of the deadly shooting rampage.

Obama, speaking at a meeting with law enforcement officials, said he had been briefed on the unfolding drama in Germany, where at least six people are believed dead in a shooting at a shopping center in Munich.

“Our hearts go out to those who may have been injured. It’s still an active situation, and Germany’s one of our closest allies, so we are going to pledge all the support that they may need in dealing with these circumstances,” he said.

At the State Department, spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said US officials were working with local authorities to determine if any US citizens were affected by the incident.

German magazine cites sources saying shooter killed himself

German magazine Focus cited police sources as saying one of the gunmen on the rampage in Munich had shot himself in the head and died.

Merkel to convene German security council

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will convene her security council Saturday to address the deadly shooting rampage in Munich, her chief of staff Peter Altmaier said.

Altmaier told ZDF public television on Friday that Merkel was being “constantly briefed” on developments in the southern city, where police say up to three gunmen are still at large.

“The cabinet ministers concerned are on their way to Berlin,” he added.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • Raj - USA
    Jul 22, 2016 - 10:28PM

    Angela Merkel made a huge mistake. Germans, French, British and all Europeans are paying for it. Recommend

  • Mr Obvious
    Jul 22, 2016 - 10:55PM

    @Raj – USA: Great example of why being “political correct” has downsides. Be interesting to see how this plays out in the USA.Recommend

  • IndianDude
    Jul 22, 2016 - 11:13PM

    May be a ‘south-asian’ refugee from the land of the pure again? The last attack in Germany by so called ‘afghan’ refugee turned out to be a pakistani posing as ‘afghan’ refugee to get asylum in Germany.

    Why these inhuman attacks against non-muslims always seem to occur on Jumma or ramadan ?Recommend

  • IndianDude
    Jul 22, 2016 - 11:16PM

    @Raj – USA

    Angela Merkel made a huge mistake. Germans, French, British and all Europeans are paying for it.

    The Germans and Europeans should exile Angela Merkel to live in syria or pakistan for rest of her life as punishment for her stupidity!Recommend

  • Xman
    Jul 22, 2016 - 11:21PM

    Bush/Blair nexus made a huge mistake by destabilizing Middle East, now Europeans are paying for it.Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Jul 22, 2016 - 11:47PM

    Attack on a McDoland. KFC or Subway might be responsible for the attack.Recommend

  • Compassionate
    Jul 23, 2016 - 1:10AM

    @Raj – USA:
    Angela Merkel is infinitely more compassionate and wiser than you. She not only did a service to humanity but also to Germany as that country’s aging population needs fresh blood. She would have known that terrorist attacks would occur but they would be controlled and would become infrequent. It is unwise to think that she is naive. However, all such attacks are condemnable with full force and must stop and be made to stop, with better intelligence and more effective screening of the immigrants.Recommend

  • sane
    Jul 23, 2016 - 1:19AM

    @indiandude /raj-usa its a right wing attack. So the indulgent wishful assumptions of the right wing on this website are not true. sorry to pop the bubble.Recommend

  • Khilari
    Jul 23, 2016 - 1:40AM

    If wishes were horses then Indians would definitely ride. No, that afghani was afghani and not Pakistani. The news never established him as such, it showed doubts. You Indians are fed on hatred against Pakistan and you judge every Asian looking guy in that mirror. Sick! @IndianDude: Recommend

  • ajeet
    Jul 23, 2016 - 2:08AM

    Thank god our Muslims are good Muslims and are peaceful, especially after Gujarat and Modi.Recommend

  • Lolz
    Jul 23, 2016 - 2:10AM

    @IndianDude: Bigger punishment would be sending her to an Indian slum. Recommend

  • So
    Jul 23, 2016 - 2:33AM

    @Raj – USA:
    So, you must know better than Angela Merkel? You wise man should have been the Chancellor of Germany.Recommend

  • Hashaam
    Jul 23, 2016 - 5:49AM

    @IndianDude:
    And once again, Indians’ baseless allegations fall through. The gunman was confirmed to have been a German-Iranian. Do you Indians not get tired of being wrong.Recommend

  • mastishhk
    Jul 23, 2016 - 5:58AM

    So, was this dude a Pakistani?Recommend

  • Adnan
    Jul 23, 2016 - 7:32AM

    I feel so relieved that he was not Pakistani.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jul 23, 2016 - 7:33AM

    @IndianDude:
    Are you wobbleheads paid by Modi govt to keep your dopey heads awake 24/7 to troll about the ‘land of the pure’ on any news source ?Recommend

  • Zarzan khan
    Jul 23, 2016 - 7:50AM

    Unless injustices are addressed like Palistine under Israeli ocvupation and Indian occupied Kashmir, under indian ocvupation, they will give rise to frustration and violence. Recommend

  • M.S.
    Jul 23, 2016 - 7:57AM

    @Xman: you are right. Middle Eastern people cannot live in a democracy. They need dictators like Sadam and Qadaffi. Recommend

  • zahid shazada loan
    Jul 23, 2016 - 8:15AM

    The Obama and his fascist actions in the Middle East are responsible for all this. If you kill and maim an Arab or an Afghan you don’t expect to get away with it. The French have been invading Libya and the Americans and NATO have killed millions what do you expect. Obama has done more damage to the security of the world then his predecessor – Bush. There will be more revenge attacks to come for 100 years – the Hindu extremists must also watch out. The Hindus may have numbers but you cannot hide under your dhoti by killing the Kashmiris. In conclusion the Europeans must stop agression against the Arabs and Afghans and pay reparations before they can be safe.Recommend

  • yakoub
    Jul 23, 2016 - 9:20AM

    he is not Iranian. plz you are real. i am sorry for Islam & Muslims. we are victims for imperialism politic. down with USA & UK & Israel.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Jul 23, 2016 - 10:47AM

    Europe should immediately close all borders to the so called innocent immigrants/ refugees. let them go back and develop their countries. Learn from France . Recommend

  • Xman
    Jul 23, 2016 - 11:29AM

    @M.S. Whatever they want to live with, it is their choice. No one asked for opinion of your likes to be imposed on them to make them civilized. And the so called democracy that you are referring to, in its current form is no magic pill either. It serves capitalistic interests of the military industrial complex, that benefits only 2% of the population, while the rest live worse than animals (that is if they live at all) Case in point, the biggest democracy next door.Recommend

  • Singh
    Jul 23, 2016 - 12:49PM

    @Adnan:
    But mindset is same. Recommend

  • Andrew
    Jul 23, 2016 - 4:19PM

    This is what happens when you let large numbers of muslims settle in Western countries. The second generation don’t fit in, and are caught between two worlds. They rebel against their parents and turn to extremism as their only option.Recommend

  • IndianDude
    Jul 23, 2016 - 7:04PM

    @ All Pakistanis,
    May be a ‘south-asian’ refugee from the land of the pure again?

    When statistics prove that probability that a terrorist attack has links to Pakistan is greater than any other country, isn’t my question valid. Recommend

  • Pukar
    Jul 23, 2016 - 10:45PM

    You and your speculations, stick them up your…. He was German born Iranian, get that into your thick head@IndianDude: Recommend

  • Rana
    Jul 24, 2016 - 5:21AM

    @Pukar: Even he is German born the ideology cult is same.Recommend

  • Joachim
    Jul 24, 2016 - 6:33AM

    Immigrants have no particular right to a place in any country they decide to enter. Finland just announced that it is shoving out 77% of the “migrants” that came into the country over the last year seeking “asylum” as they are economic migrants from safe countries.

    Doesn’t Denmark have a human right to maintain its ethnic culture? Or is that a right only approved for nonwhite people?Recommend

  • ajeet
    Jul 24, 2016 - 7:04AM

    And still Pakistanis are wondering why the world doesn’t care about islamists in Kashmir. I’m sure lots of people around the world are cheering the Indian army.Recommend

  • Puppet on a chain
    Jul 24, 2016 - 6:47PM

    Dude, Norwegian mass murderer Brevik was his hero and not any religion. Get your facts straight before jumping to conclusions. Sick of the mind set that people develop because of media playing to popular notions. Everyone has been turned into mindless puppets.@Rana: Recommend

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