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Terror Strikes Again: Eight killed in Munich shooting spree at mall, metro station

The shooting was first reported at the Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall in the Moosach district of Munich

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Several shot dead in Munich shopping mall rampage in fresh attack. Image source: www.scmp.com

Berlin: At least eight people have died in multiple shooting sprees at different places, including a shopping mall and a metro station, by gunmen in the German city of Munich, news reports said on Friday, July 22.

The German Interior Ministry said three people are dead. However, some reports say that up to 15 people have been killed and several injured.

The shooting was first reported at the Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall in the Moosach district of Munich.

After some time, the shooting was reported at Marienplatz station in Munich.

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Reports said a gunman opened fire in Stachus Square, Munich’s main square just three miles away from the Munich Olympia centre.

Munich Police believes there are several perpetrators on the loose in Munich and none of have been caught yet.

Policemen stand at the underground station Georg-Brauchle-Ring close to the Olympia shopping centre in which a shooting was reported in Munich Photo. Image source: AP
Policemen stand at the underground station Georg-Brauchle-Ring close to the Olympia shopping centre in which a shooting was reported in Munich Photo. Image source: AP

A tweet from police said: “Currently we do not know where the perpetrators are. Please be careful and avoid the public place.”

Police have begun special operations in Munich’s Karlsplatz square.

The city’s transportation authorities have halted service on multiple trains, tram and bus lines after the shooting. A big operation is underway in Munich.

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Terrified shoppers were seen running for their lives from the Munich Olympia Shopping Centre after hearing gunshots.

A video purporting to show the shooter, dressed in black, firing 20 shots has been posted on Twitter. The footage shows him outside a McDonald’s directly outside the shopping centre, according to dailymail.co.uk.

The area around the Munich Olympia Shopping Centre in the district of Moosach has been sealed off as emergency services try to control the situation.

The Guardian reported that police in Munich are saying that they have received reports from witnesses of three gunmen in the area surrounding the Olympia shopping centre.

A German spokeswoman said: “We believe we are dealing with a shooting rampage.

“We believe there was more than one perpetrator. The first reports came at 6 pm, the shooting apparently began at a McDonald’s in the shopping centre. There are still people in the shopping centre. We are trying to get the people out and take care of them,” The Guardian reported.

Police have told people to stay at home and avoid the streets.

The security forces have been on alert after an Afghan teen attacked and severely injured five people with an axe on a train in Bavaria on Monday.

The authorities had warned of the danger of further attacks.

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Thousands Displaced as SDF Targeting Civilians Advances on Last IS Territory in Syria

Bali said the second obstacle for the SDF forces is that IS has a number of hostages who had been arrested and detained by the militants.

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Syria
A U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter stands atop a hill in the desert outside the village of Baghuz, Syria, Feb. 14, 2019. VOA

Islamic State (IS) fighters are targeting civilians who are trying to flee the last territory held by the terror group in eastern Syria, U.S.-backed forces told VOA on Thursday.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed Kurdish-led alliance, said that IS militants hit a road used by civilians to escape violence as the battle to free the town of Baghuz in Syria’s Deir el-Zour province enters its sixth day.

“IS has blocked that road to prevent civilians from coming to the SDF,” SDF fighter Ali Ahmed said. “They have targeted civilians there, but we have responded to their attacks against civilians.”

Ahmed said that some families of IS fighters are among the fleeing civilians.

Located near the Iraqi border, Baghuz is the last stronghold held by IS extremists in Syria. With the help of the U.S.-led coalition, SDF fighters have pushed out IS from all territories it once held since 2014.

Fierce fighting between IS militants and the U.S.-backed fighters continues as the latter try to gain ground on Baghuz on several fronts.

“We have two main obstacles as we advance on Baghuz,” Mustafa Bali, an SDF spokesperson, told VOA. “The first one is that [IS] terrorists are holding on to a number of civilians to use them as a bargain chip for their exit.”

Bali said the second obstacle for the SDF forces is that IS has a number of hostages who had been arrested and detained by the militants.

IS controls about 5 square kilometers of territory inside the Syrian town, local military officials said.

“It seems that even the Americans are trying to rescue those civilians and hostages from IS,” Hasib said in a phone interview. VOA

Ivan Hasib, a Syrian reporter covering the battle, told VOA that he witnessed an unusual movement by U.S. military vehicles in the area.

“It seems that even the Americans are trying to rescue those civilians and hostages from IS,” Hasib said in a phone interview.

He said the remaining IS fighters in Baghuz are hoping to exchange hostages for a safe exit into the Iraqi desert.

Also Read: Islamic State Using Women, Children as Human Shields to Postpone Defeat

“There must be some sort of negotiations between IS and SDF about the hostages, because even [U.S.-led] coalition airstrikes have stopped since Tuesday night,” Hasib said, adding that SDF fighters were forced to pause their military operations on the northeastern front in Baghuz.

“We can’t start marching toward it from this side because of civilians. Many civilians are using this road to this side. So we’re here to protect them,” Mezlum Kobani, an SDF commander, told VOA.

According to SDF officials, more than 5,000 civilians have been rescued from IS in Baghuz. (VOA)