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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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People Use Hate Speech While Searching About Terrorism on Social Media

People post hate speech while seeking answers on terrorism

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Social Media terrorism
People often resort to using hate speech when searching about terrorism on a community group social media platform. Pixabay

People often resort to using hate speech when searching about terrorism on a community group social media platform, say researchers.

According to Snehasish Banerjee, lecturer at the York Management School, University of York, it appears seems that people are really curious to know about terrorists, what terrorists think, their ideas, etc.

“While portrayed as a threat to society and human civilisation by mainstream media, terrorists sell terrorism as freedom fighting via social networking sites and private messaging platforms,” said Banerjee.

“However, the actual workings of terrorism are largely shrouded in secrecy. For the curious, a convenient avenue to turn to is the community question answering sites”.

Community question answering sites (CQAs) are social media platforms where users ask questions, answer those submitted by others, and have the option to evaluate responses. Previous studies have mainly looked at terrorism-related data drawn from Facebook and Twitter, this was the first to examine trends on the CQA site, Yahoo! Answers.

Social Media terrorism
While portrayed as a threat to society and human civilisation by mainstream media, terrorists sell terrorism as freedom fighting via social media platforms. Pixabay

The University of York study explored the use of Yahoo! Answers on the topic of terrorism and looked at a dataset of 300 questions that attracted more than 2,000 answers. The questions reflected the community’s information needs, ranging from the life of extremists to counter-terrorism policies. Sensitive questions outnumbered innocuous ones.

A typical innocuous question was: Who exactly created ISIS?, while a more sensitive question was: Do you agree with Donald Trump that we should ban Muslims coming from countries seized by ISIS, Al Qaeda and other terrorists? According to the findings, sensitive questions were significantly more likely to be submitted anonymously than innocuous ones.

While no significant difference arose with respect to answers, the paper found that identities were seldom recognisable. Using names non-traceable to themselves, the community group users become embolden to use provocative, inflammatory or uncivil language. “We found that answers were laden with negative emotions reflecting hate speech and Islamophobia, making claims that were rarely verifiable,” said Banerjee.

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Users who posted sensitive questions and answers generally tended to remain anonymous.

“This paper calls for governments and law enforcement agencies to collaborate with major social media companies, including CQAs, to develop a process for cross-platform blacklisting of users and content, as well as identifying those who are vulnerable,” the authors noted in the Aslib Journal of Information Management. (IANS)