Shopping Mall Shooting in Munich, Several Feared Dead

Several people have been shot dead after shots were fired at a shopping centre in Munich, police have confirmed. Police say they believe they are dealing with at least three attackers. A police spokeswoman told Reuters: “We believe we are dealing with a shooting rampage”. Police have asked the people of Munich to avoid public places.

The shots were heard at the Olympia shopping center (OEZ) in the Moosach district of Munich, Germany, according to reports, with a major police operation under way. German media have reported there multiple deaths at the scene. Live footage from the scene shows multiple emergency services at the scene while members of the public flee the area.

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

Staff in the shopping mall are still hiding, an employee told Reuters by telephone. “Many shots were fired, I can’t say how many but it’s been a lot,” the employee, who declined to be identified, said from the mall in Munich.

German authorities have requested people not to post photos and videos on social media regarding the ongoing attack, especially showing police operations, as it might inadvertently help the attackers. This is good advice, as we in Bharat have already suffered from the way security operations during the 26/11 Mumbai jihad attack were jeopardized by the live TV coverage by channels like NDTV etc.

While it is still not clear as to what the motive of the current attack is, it comes right on the heels of a terror attack on a train in Southern Germany, and the jihadi massacre in Nice, France on 14 July.

Terror attack on German train earlier this week

Just 3 days back, a teenage Afghan refugee armed with an axe and knife injured four people on a train in southern Germany before being shot dead by police. Three people in a group from Hong Kong were seriously hurt and one slightly injured in the attack in Wurzburg. Another 14 were treated for shock.

Germany Terror Attack
Among those injured were four people from Hong Kong, according to the South China Morning Post [EPA]

Bavarian state Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told Reuters TV that a hand-painted Islamic State flag (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL) was found among the teenager’s belongings when police searched his home. Some witnesses quoted by German media said they had heard him shout “Allahu akbar” (“God is great”) during the attack. One local man told DPA news agency that the train carriage where the attack took place “looked like a slaughterhouse”.

The Islamic State’s (IS) Amaq News Agency said the teenager was a “fighter” for the group and had “carried out the operation in answer to the calls to target the countries of the coalition fighting the Islamic State”. Amaq later released what it claims is a video of the train assailant, heard saying he is one of the group’s fighters and that he intends to carry out a suicide attack in Germany.

Germany welcomed about one million refugees in 2015, including thousands of unaccompanied minors. Many were fleeing war in countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

IS warning about attack on Germany

After the Nice terror attack, IS affiliated social media channels had circulated many posters threatening Germany.