Munich Shooting: 9 Killed, Several injured,  3 Gunmen at Large 

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By Adedayo Adejobi, with Agency Reports
 

German government has set up a crisis response unit, Authorities declare emergency, advice residents not to leave homes,

Hospitals throughout Munich are on emergency alert and in “catastrophe mode”.

Munich central station and underground system is closed and has been evacuated. Motorists on the motorway into Munich have been asked to clear the road for police and emergency service vehicles.

It is not yet clear how many attackers opened fire or whether the shootings, described as a “rampage” by police, amounted to a coordinated or planned attack.

The German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere, interrupts  flight to the United States heads home

 At least nine people have been killed and unidentified number of people injured in a shooting at the Olympia shopping mall in Munich, Germany, according to police yesterday. Police are still hunting for the shooters and suspects that the incident is a terrorist attack.

Police also said that witnesses had seen shooting both inside the mall and on nearby streets.

According to reports, Munich authorities have requested assistance from an elite German counter-terrorism, hostage rescue and special operations federal police unit known as GSG9.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting but Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) supporters are already celebrating the incident on the social media.

Munich police warned that the shooters are still on the run and they are dangerous. Meanwhile, Police earlier said they were dealing with a “shooting rampage” and were suspecting terrorism.

There were however reports of further shooting at Karlsplatz square in central Munich, but this has not been confirmed by police as at Press time. Taxi drivers have been advised to avoid the Karlsplatz area.

Another shooting reportedly occurred at Isartor square, close to the city center, according to some Twitter posts.

Police are aware of the reports about other shootings in the city, they said in a Twitter post, adding that the situation is still unclear and urging people to avoid public places and not to travel by subway or train.

Police believe there are “several” shooters, Die Welt reports.

There are at least three shooters in the Munich incident, the Bavarian interior minister said, as reported by Bild.

Shots were heard in a video posted by a witness on Twitter.

 “We are telling the people of Munich there are shooters on the run who are dangerous,” a spokesman told reporters, adding that the police were looking for three perpetrators. “We are urging people to stay indoors.”

The German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere, who was on a flight to the United States for a holiday, is interrupting his trip and heading home, the DPA news agency reported.

Chancellery staff met on Friday evening to assess the situation in Munich but Chancellor Angela Merkel was not present, DPA said.

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called the news from Munich “shocking”. He said: “My thoughts are with the people of the city at this time.

Germany’s elite unit GSG9 has flown in to Munich. Members – armed and masked but dressed otherwise unassumingly in T-shirts, trainers and shorts – were spotted in the vicinity of the local police who were on the scene within minutes of the first emergency call having been received.

Bavaria’s interior minister, Joachim Hermmann, and Bavaria’s prime minister, Horst Seehofer, were held a crisis meeting yesterday evening.

Germany’s elite unit GSG9 has flown in to Munich. Members – armed and masked but dressed otherwise unassumingly in T-shirts, trainers and shorts – were spotted in the vicinity of the local police who were on the scene within minutes of the first emergency call having been received.

Two past atrocities involving marauding shooting attacks led western police and security forces to review their tactics and plans to deal with such events.

The first was the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, which began with marauding gunmen shooting their way across parts of the city popular with tourists. In that attack, the terrorists took hostages at three locations, before armed forces ended the siege. In the UK, weaponry and tactics for armed law enforcement were changed in response to Mumbai.

The second attack to provoke a review was in Paris last November, when multiple gun men killed 130 people. In that attack, so-called soft targets were struck while people were dining and enjoying music on aFriday evening.

Senior security officials described the Paris attacks as a “game changer” showing the capability of terrorists to wreak carnage was at the upper end of what officials feared.

The threat of a marauding terrorist attack has been feared for years in Europe. Both Islamic State and al-Qaida are known to have planned them.

Authorities have worked on knowing where attackers are in a dynamic, dangerous and confused situation and how to best rush armed assets to where the terrorists are.

Knowing what is going on can be immensely difficult for the authorities. In the UK police have staged training exercises assessing how they would cope with marauding gun attacks. Across Europe, police and security services were monitoring the unfolding situation in Munich.