International

Utrecht tram shooting: three dead in possible terror attack

A gunman opened fire on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht on Monday, killing three people and wounding nine in what officials said was a possible terrorist incident.

Police said the attacker, identified as a 37-year-old Turkey-born man, was still on the run after the incident. Utrecht, the Netherlands’ fourth largest city, is known for its large student population.

7.40 p.m.

Three dead, says Utrecht mayor

Dutch broadcaster NOS is reporting that three people have been killed in the tram shooting, quoting the city’s Mayor. Nine people have been injured, the Mayor said.

“At this stage, we can confirm three deaths and nine wounded, three of them seriously,” Mayor Jan van Zanen has said.

– Reuters

7 p.m.

37-year-old identified as shooter

Dutch authorities have named a 37-year-old Turkey-born man as linked to the tram shooting in the central Dutch town of Utrecht.

Police showed the picture of a bearded mark sitting on public transport and dressed in a dark blue top with a hood tucked in his neck. Police identified him as Gokman Tanis.

It was the first image distributed of someone linked to the shooting. Police warned citizens not to approach the man but call authorities instead.

6.20 p.m.

Utrecht shooter remains at large

A suspect who shot several people on a tram in Utrecht remains at large, the head of the counter-terrorism agency said.

“In Utrecht there was a shooting at several locations,” Netherlands Counter-Terrorism Agency head Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg told a news conference. “A lot is still unclear at this point and local authorities are working hard to establish all the facts. What we already know is that a culprit is at large.

He declined to comment on the number of injured or what condition the victims were in.

6.05 p.m.

The following is the full statement by the Utrecht police:

On Monday 18 March 2019, between 10:30 and 11:00 hrs, a shooting took place at 24 Oktoberplein in Utrecht, The Netherlands. There are multiple wounded. The shooter, most probably one man, is on the run.

The shooting took place in or around a public transportation vehicle at the crossing of Beneluxlaan and 24 Oktoberplein. The emergency services are on the scene, and the police is searching for the shooter with all possible means. At this moment the police consider several scenarios, including the possibility of a terrorist attack. More news will follow as soon as possible.

For more information, follow the Twitter account of the Utrecht police: https://twitter.com/PolitieUtrecht. The city of Utrecht opened a phone number for questions: +31 30 286 0000

6.00 p.m.

Situation “very worrying”: Dutch PM

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the situation “very worrying” and the country’s counterterror coordinator said in a tweet that a crisis team was meeting to discuss the situation.

Police spokesman Bernhard Jens said no one had been detained yet in the shooting, and one possible “explanation is that the person fled by car.” He did not rule out the possibility that more than one shooter was involved in the attack.

“We want to try to catch the person responsible as soon as possible,” Jens said.

The Netherlands’ anti-terror coordinator raised the threat alert to its highest level around Utrecht. Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said the “threat level has gone to 5, exclusively for the Utrecht province.”

“The culprit is still on the run. A terror motive cannot be excluded,” he said in a Twitter message.

– AP

5.55 p.m.

Dutch broadcaster NOS said police had surrounded a building where the suspected gunman was believed to be holed up. There was no immediate word on who the gunman was or on the precise number or identity of the victims.

Authorities raised the terrorism threat to its highest level in Utrecht province, schools were told to shut their doors and paramilitary police increased security at airports and other vital infrastructure. Security was also stepped up at mosques.

– Reuters

5.50 p.m.

Dutch military police boost security at airports, key buildings

The Netherlands has boosted security at airports and other key buildings after the shooting, Dutch military police said.

“In connection with the situation in Utrecht, the Royal Military Police is on high alert at the airports and at other vital buildings in The Netherlands,” the force said on Twitter.

– AFP

5.40 p.m.

Manhunt launched for the shooter

Police, including heavily armed officers, flooded the area after the shooting that happened in the morning on a tram at a busy traffic intersection in a residential neighborhood in Utrecht.

Police spokesman Bernhard Jens said that no one had been detained yet.

 

Jens said that “one explanation is that the person fled by car.” He did not rule out the possibility that more than one person was involved.

“We want to try to catch the person responsible as soon as possible,” Jens said.

– AP

5.30 p.m.

Shooting in Utrecht “appears to be terrorist attack”

The shooting in Utrecht “appears to be a terrorist attack”, the head of the country’s counter-terrorism agency said.

Dutch broadcaster NOS said Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg made the assessment after several people were shot in a tram in the central province of Utrecht.

– Reuters

5.25 p.m.

Dutch govt raise terrorism threat to maximum in Utrecht

The Dutch government raised the terrorism threat level to the highest possible in the province of Utrecht. Dutch military police is on “extra alert” at Dutch airports and “vital buildings” due to police manhunt in Utrecht.

 

The National Anti-Terrorism Coordinator said it had raised alert level as the suspected shooter was still at large. Security was increased at schools, mosques and transportation hubs after the shooting.

– Reuters

5.20 p.m.

Police have erected a white tent over an area where a body appears to be lying next to a tram following reports of a shooting in the Dutch city of Utrecht.

A body is covered with a white sheet after a shooting in a tram in Utrecht, Netherlands on March 18, 2019

A body is covered with a white sheet after a shooting in a tram in Utrecht, Netherlands on March 18, 2019
 
| Photo Credit: AP


 

Earlier, footage showed what appeared to be a body lying under a white blanket. Police had said that there were “multiple” people wounded in the shooting on Monday morning.

– AP

5.10 p.m.

Police say they are investigating a shooting in a tram that left “multiple” people injured and are considering the possibility of a “terrorist motive.”

Police, including heavily armed officers, flooded the area after the shooting that happened Monday morning on a tram at a busy traffic intersection.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the situation “very worrying” and the country’s counterterror coordinator said in a tweet that a crisis team was meeting to discuss the situation.

There have been no reports yet of any suspects arrested.

– AP

 
Source: thehindu.com

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