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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
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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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Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran Hold Meeting To Counter Trafficking of Opiate

The United States has spent more than $8 billion in the past 17 years to assist Afghanistan in eradication efforts.

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An Afghan man works on a poppy field in Jalalabad province. VOA

Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran have pledged to increase cooperation and information-sharing for effectively combating the trafficking of Afghan opiates.

War-shattered Afghanistan remains the world’s largest producer of opium, though the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime noted in its latest survey the opium cultivation decreased by 20 percent in 2018 due to a severe drought and reduced prices.

The illegal opiates are largely smuggled to international markets through Pakistan and Iran.

Need for more initiatives 

Afghan, Pakistan and Iranian counternarcotics officials concluded their two-day UNODC-facilitated interaction Wednesday in Islamabad, where delegates underscored the need for more efforts against the massive flow of illicit drugs.

Participants at the “Triangular Initiative” meeting called for timely sharing of information and conducting simultaneously interdiction operations along their shared largely porous borders.

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In this April 11, 2016, photo, farmers harvest raw opium at a poppy field in the Zhari district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan. VOA

The forum was established in 2007 with a mission to promote regional cooperation to reduce the poppy cultivation, trafficking, and consumption of drugs in the region and beyond.

Officials acknowledged that despite Afghanistan’s political tensions with Pakistan and Iran anti-drugs cooperation largely continues.

Renewed attitude 

Cesar Guedes, UNODC representative in Pakistan, noted the three countries attended the Islamabad meeting with “a revived attitude and role”, raising prospects for more effective counternarcotics efforts in 2019.

“More needs to be done because the level of [Afghan opium] production has also increased. They need really to coordinate closer in their joint efforts,” he told VOA

Guedes also called for increased international assistance, saying Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran alone cannot curb the menace of drugs.

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FILE – Afghan farmers collect raw opium as they work in a poppy field in Khogyani district of Jalalabad east of Kabul, Afghanistan, May 10, 2013. VOA

“This has to be done in the framework of shared responsibility. All the countries, producers, consumers and transit need to join the effort,” he said.

Despite many challenges facing the government, the head of the Afghan delegation said authorities have taken significant steps to eradicate drug trafficking.

US assistance 
Director General for Policy Planing at the Afghan Ministry of Narcotics, Mohammad Osman Frotan, said 89 percent of poppy cultivation this year has taken place in the Afghan provinces most hit by insurgent activities. He said counternarcotics authorities during 2018 have seized more than 433 tons of different types of drugs, and arrested and prosecuted almost 4,000 suspects.

Also Read: Pakistan In U.S. Blacklist For Religious Freedom Violations

The United States has spent more than $8 billion in the past 17 years to assist Afghanistan in eradication efforts. But the effort has failed to stop opium production, which increased to record highs and stood at an estimated 9,000 tons in 2017. Critics blamed insecurity, rampant corruption and patronage by influential Afghans for the unprecedented growth. (VOA)