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Reports: Up to 50 injured as gunman opens fire in German cinema

USA TODAY USA TODAY 23/06/2016 Doug Stanglin
Heavily-armed police outside a movie theatre complex where an armed man has reportedly opened fire on June 23, 2016 in Viernheim, Germany. According to initial media reports, the man entered the cinema today at approximately 3pm, fired a shot in the air and barricaded himself inside © Alexander Scheuber/Getty Images Heavily-armed police outside a movie theatre complex where an armed man has reportedly opened fire on June 23, 2016 in Viernheim, Germany. According to initial media reports, the man entered the cinema today at approximately 3pm, fired a shot in the air and barricaded himself inside

A masked gunman wearing a cartridge belt around his shoulder opened fire Thursday in a movie theater in a small town south of Frankfurt in western Germany, injuring at least 25 people, according to German media reports.

The German newspaper Bild said the gunman fired into the air and sent dozens of screaming theatergoers fleeing from the cinema. Bild said "several people" have been injured.

Germany public TV said 25 people were injured in the melee. The Darmstadt Echo put the number of injured from 20 to 50 people.

The gunman was masked and fired at least four shots, the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper reports.

Authorities have dispatched elite units to the scene, which was quickly cordoned off.

Police spokeswoman Christiane Kobus reported a "threat situation," but had no additional details on the incident at the Kinopolis movie theater in the town of Viernheim, which is about 45 miles south of Frankfurt, the Associated Press reports.

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