You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

No motive yet for Munich attack

AAP logoAAP 22/07/2016

An 18-year-old German-Iranian gunman opened fire in a busy shopping mall in Munich, killing at least nine people in the third attack against civilians in Western Europe in eight days.

The pistol-wielding attacker, identified by Munich Police Chief Hubertus Andrae as a dual national, was later found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.

Police, citing eyewitness accounts, had initially said they were looking for up to three suspects in the shooting attack at the Munich Olympia Shopping Centre that sent shoppers fleeing in panic and shut traffic across the city.

But authorities told a news conference early on Saturday the shooter was believed to have staged the attack alone, opening fire in a fast food restaurant before moving on to the mall.

He was not known to local police.

Sixteen people, including several children, were injured in the attack and three were in critical condition, Andrae said.

There was no known motive for the shooting in Germany's third-largest city, which went into lockdown with transport halted and highways sealed off immediately after the attack on Friday evening.

The city's transport network reopened at 1.15am on Saturday.

The German government called a crisis meeting at the chancellery in Berlin and the country's national security council, headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, will meet on Saturday, her chief of staff Peter Altmaier said.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, Germany's top security official, was returning from the United Sates to attend.

Germany has been on high alert since Monday, when an Islamist asylum seeker injured five people in a knife-and-axe attack on a commuter train headed to the southern city of Wuerzburg.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the motive for the attack was not yet clear.

"The motives for this abhorrent act have not yet been completely clarified - we still have contradictory clues," he said in a statement.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but supporters of Islamic State celebrated on social media.

"The Islamic state is expanding in Europe," read one tweet.

The shopping centre is next to the Munich Olympic stadium, where the Palestinian militant group Black September took 11 Israeli athletes hostage and eventually killed them during the 1972 Olympic Games.

Friday's attack took place a week after a 17-year-old Afghan asylum-seeker assaulted passengers on a German train with an axe.

Bavarian police shot the teenager dead after he wounded four people from Hong Kong on the train and injured a local resident while fleeing.

The police chief said there were no immediate similarities between Friday's attack and the incident on the train near the southern German city of Wuerzburg.

And last week, crowds watching the Bastille Day fireworks in the southern French city of Nice were mowed down by a Tunisian man driving a truck, killing 84 people.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon