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At least 9 dead in Munich; Police hunting for up to 3 shooters

  • Policemen arrived at a shopping center in which a shooting was reported in Munich, southern Germany, on Friday. The situation after a shooting in the Olympia shopping centre in Munich is unclear. (Matthias Balk/dpa via AP)

  • Armed police moved past onlooking media responding to a shooting at a shopping center in Munich, Germany, on Friday. Munich police confirmed shots were fired at Olympia Einkaufszentrum shopping center but say they don’t have any details about casualties. Police are responding in large numbers. (AP Photo/APTV)

  • Police in Munich, Germany responded to a shooting at a shopping center in Munich, on Friday. Munich police confirmed shots were fired at Olympia Einkaufszentrum shopping center but say they don’t have any details about casualties. Police responded in large numbers. (AP Photo/APTV)

  • Heavily armed police forces operated at Karlsplatz (Stachus) square after a shooting in the Olympia shopping centre was reported in Munich, southern Germany on Friday. (Andreas Gebert/dpa via AP)

MUNICH » Police hunted for an unknown number of gunmen who opened fire in a crowded shopping mall and at a nearby McDonald’s Friday, killing eight people and wounding at least 10 others in a rampage they described as suspected terrorism. Authorities urged residents to remain inside and put the Bavarian capital on lockdown.

“At the moment no culprit has been arrested,” police said on social media as Germany’s elite GSG9 anti-terror unit and federal police were called in to help in the manhunt. “The search is taking place at high speed.”

A ninth body was found about 2 miles away from the shooting scene that may be one of the gunmen. Police were checking the body of the man for possible explosives.

Witnesses reported seeing three men with firearms near the Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall, one of Munich’s largest.

Munich police spokesman Marcus Martins said a ninth body had been found not far from the attack scene and police were “intensively examining” whether it might be one of the suspects.

The city sent a smartphone alert declaring an “emergency situation” and telling people to stay indoors, while all rail, subway and trolley service was halted in the city.

It was the third major act of violence against civilians in Western Europe in eight days. The previous attacks, in the French resort city of Nice and on a train in Bavaria, were claimed by the Islamic State group.

While police called the mall shooting an act of terrorism, they said they had “no indication” it involved Islamic extremism and at least one witness said he heard a shooter shout an anti-foreigner slur.

The attack started shortly before 6 p.m. at a McDonald’s across the street from the mall, which was filled with people doing their weekend shopping. As dozens of shots rang out, terrified shoppers ran from the scene, some carrying babies and pushing strollers.

Video obtained by The Associated Press from German news agency NonstopNews showed two bodies with sheets draped over them not far from the fastfood restaurant. Another video posted online showed a gunman emerging from the door of the McDonald’s, raising what appeared to be a pistol with both hands and aiming at people on the sidewalk, firing as they fled in terror.

Witness Luan Zequiri said he was in the mall when the shooting began.

He told German broadcaster n-tv that he heard the attacker yell an anti-foreigner insult and “there was a really loud scream.”

He said he saw only one attacker, who was wearing jack boots and a backpack.

“I looked in his direction and he shot two people on the stairs,” Zequiri said. He said he hid in a shop, then ran outside when the coast was clear and saw bodies of the dead and wounded on the ground.

Germany’s Interior Ministry said Munich police had set up a hotline for concerned citizens. Residents of Munich opened their doors to people seeking shelter using the Twitter hashtag #opendoor.

Also on Twitter, police asked people to refrain from speculating about the attack. Germany’s interior minister cut short his holiday in the United States to go back to Berlin late Friday to meet with security officials.

Late Friday, bomb experts were checking for possible explosives on the body of a man found about a kilometer from the attack scene, the dpa news agency said. A backpack found on the body was also being examined as police tried to determine if it was that of the shooter.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s was being regularly briefed on the attack, said her chief of staff, Peter Altmaier.

“All that we know and can say right now is that it was a cruel and inhumane attack,” he said on German public channel ARD. “We can’t rule out that there are terrorist links. We can’t confirm them, but we are investigating along those lines too.”

Altmaier noted that Friday was the fifth anniversary of the massacre in Oslo, Norway, by a far-right extremist that killed 77 people, 69 of them at a youth summer camp.

“You can only have absolute security in an absolute surveillance state, and nobody wants that, it would be the opposite of our free western European way of life,” he said. “But, and this became clear again today, we can’t talk down this danger. It’s a danger that many countries are exposed, especially in the west, and that’s why it’s important to give our security agencies the instruments they need.”

Police responded in large numbers to the mall in the northern part of Munich, near the city’s Olympic Stadium in the Moosach district of the Bavarian capital.

It was also not far from where Palestinian attackers opened fire in the Olympic Village in 1972, killing 11 Israeli athletes. Five guerrillas and a police officer were also killed. The GSG9 anti-terrorism unit was created after that attack, though the city saw a worse one in 1980, when 13 people were killed and more than 200 injured at the city’s annual Oktoberfest in a bombing blamed on a student with ties to a neo-Nazi group.

It was the second attack in Germany in less than a week. On Monday, a 17-year-old Afghan wounded four people in an ax-and-knife attack on a regional train near the Bavarian city of Wuerzburg, and another woman outside as he fled. All survived, although one man from the train remains in life-threatening condition. The attacker was shot and killed by police.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the train attack, but authorities have said the teen likely acted alone.

Gun attacks in Germany are uncommon. Firearm ownership is widespread but they are strictly regulated, with purchasers first having to take training courses in order to be granted a permit to own one. Many types of firearms are banned.

In the U.S., President Barack Obama pledged to provide Germany with whatever help it might need to investigate the mall shooting.

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    • Over time Americans will get used to these events, even on American soil. smh, it’s all about getting used to things as it’s inevitable.

        • I think you can bring in most women and boys up to the age of 10, but between 11-28, sorry, not taking you. What demographic is more likely to do something really stupid between the ages of 14-26? Men. Break it down further, uneducated, unemployed, and unmarried men. Who makes up the majority of our high school drop outs? Men. Who makes up the majority of violent criminals? Men. Who makes up the majority of DUI arrests? Men? Who thinks they can drive 150 mph on a highway and not cause damage? Men. So why are we going to bring the most dangerous demographic into the country, the very demographic most likely to become dissatisfied and do something rash and horrific? Think of it, a group of young men, uneducated, profiled, idealistic and pissed off, who look for meaning and a place to vent their frustrations, some way to make a difference in their lives…radicalization? Yep. And that doesn’t even account for the zealots that are already so inclined. That’s the problem Germany is facing, they were too liberal in who they received into their country, well meaning, but given the culture of radicalism for some sectors of the Middle East, this group of refugees is significantly different than those who came from Southeast Asia of the 60s and 70s, or Europe of the 30s and 40s. These immigrants are reminiscent of the Anarchists and Socialists of the 1890-1920 from Europe. They threw bombs, plotted assassinations and overthrows, and yes, were predominately made up of young to middle aged men willing to give their life for the cause. Red Scare anyone?

    • Germans politics are imbecile allowing the destruction of their country by immigrant “refugees” Muslims and even paying for it. I guess it is their late punishment for Nazi Germany. No other group than Muslims is destroying and terrorizing Europe. America beware of Hillary . She will allow the evil in.

    • Just because these things happen doesnt mean no effort should be made at gun control. The NRA would have you believe any effort to control who should have guns is an affront to the second amendment. Any reasonable person would understand that certain people should not have such easy access as gun shows, where currently, no limitations exist.

      • Ski nut., you are probably right. If our Congress could sit down and agree that would solve a lot of issues including the 2nd Amendment. So far, Obama/Clintons efforts haven’t worked. I don’t know which way you are leaning but this I can tell you. If you vote Clinton it will remain the same. That’s probably why Sanders and Trump got a lot of support.
        Aloha and good luck.

    • If this were a McDonald’s in a dangerous part of Chicago or Baltimore, would it be so surprising? The Germans will figure this out. Their privacy laws are not what ours are and their general population is more educated and their civil servants more competent. If they can’t figure it out without drastic measures, none can.

    • Cowardly comment. America was a lot more dangerous in the 1970s-1990s. Worldwide we’re seeing some of the safest time in history if you look at deaths from violent conflict.

      • You are wrong, much more dangerous now. Different kind of drugs out there, different kind of criminal, more domestic violence, more violent video games, we are still war on two different fronts…..pissed off , pissed on veterans coming home…..

        • Sorry but I don’t base my conclusions on anecdotal evidence, hairs on the back of my neck, the first 10 minutes of the evening news or Trump’s fearmongering.

        • neither do I, I base it on as a police officer in the field watching change and the different causes of change, especially in behavior. I now work on The Federal government, based on intelligence reports, especially monitoring threats to this country. I also believe my boss is an idiot in denial.

        • Pohaku, please get off of Morimoto. You are the only who cares what he has to say.

        • I think you missed my point. Media has brought “violence” to our attention. With speculation, In color. Minute by minute. Accompanied by endless armchair experts.

        • To clarify, my point is that there are all these doomsday prognosticators who jump at every single chance to blow their horn to “support” their own agenda. All this without a shred of perspective and only anecdotal evidence that backs up their claims. Notice how we have 9 dead in this story and it’s a international crisis. Compare that to hundreds of thousands or even millions who have died in past atrocities and you get some perspective. I’m not saying there isn’t anything to worry about but let’s keep a level head here.

        • Whereas in the 70’s this wouldn’t have been much more than a second page story in some newspapers, and possibly a 30 second comment by Chet Huntley. Which is my point. Marshall Mcluhan quite accurately foretold exactly what we have to deal with today, as we’re almost daily privy to the incredible influence of communication.

  • If the German people don’t get it yet? Something is really wrong. But as i said before Angela Merkle will lose her PM position. Why? She did not consider the ramifications of allowing One Million Syrian refugees into Germany. (So much for Political Correctness.) And yet,some of these refugees have the audacity by abusing their welcome Germany has shown to them? By raping hundreds of innocent German women,because their skirts were too short?
    Indeed talk about “Wearing Out Your Welcome”!

    Yes,the same thing that happened to the Brit’s PM David Cameron,will also happen to Angela Merkle. Via , her resignation.
    So who’s next? In regards to all the terrorist activities going on in their own country ……Francois Hollande.

    • The Germans are too imbecile to fire Merkel. Their media are brainwashing them that Muslim invasion is good for them and everybody who is against it is a murderous Nazi.

    • MoiLee my hero. It is too late. The damage is done. It is too late for America. Be wary my friends. Report any suspicious activity to the proper authorities. The Mexican criminals only rape, steal, deal drugs and kill each other. The ISIS only kill. Every city should have a terror hotline.
      Obama should resign.

  • “The city has sent smartphone alerts to tell people to stay indoors.” This should be done in every Hawaiian city. Sent this kind of message with an emergency beeping sound that one cannot ignore. Enemy is getting smarter now. Shoot and run. Not shoot, fight, and die. No complicated bomb making troubles. Just automatic rifles and a taxi fare. Please let’s be progressive and allow us concealed gun carry.

    • Obama said we must go about our business and not let the terrorist worry us. They are just junior varsity. Boy I wish he kept his mouth shut. They are trying to prove him wrong. He has been wrong so many times and created a lot of problems because of poor judgement.

        • PDATE 2130 BST — CNN Reports Witnesses Heard ‘Allahu Akbar’ Shouts

          An eyewitness identifying herself as a Muslim tells CNN she heard shouts of “Allahu Akbar” as shots rang out, confirmed that she heard correctly because “I am a Muslim.”

    • “The unidentified gunman was an 18-year-old German-Iranian who had lived in Munich for more than two years, Chief Hubertus Andrae told reporters.”

      • But, but, but, Hillary addressing the CFR said “Let’s be clear, Islam is not our enemy, Muslims are peaceful and TOLERANT people, and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”

        So that’s it, must be that Tea Party bunch or those dmmd Norwegians again.

  • Under Obama this reminds me of the Vietnam War. Body count was everything. How many congs got conked.
    Only problem is he doesn’t know we are at war. But don’t worry, everything is just fine and dandy. Birds are chirping and we got less than six months before he’s out the door. No more Obama / Clinton chapters please. No more Bushes either. Just Trumps.

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