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Three dead in Utrecht tram shooting as Dutch police consider 'terrorist motive'

 Rescue workers install a screen on the spot where a body was covered with a white blanket following a shooting in Utrecht, Netherlands, this morning. Picture Peter Dejong, AP Photo

Police have named the suspect in a shooting attack on a tram in the central Dutch city of Utrecht which has left three people dead and others injured.

Officers identified Turkish-born Gokman Tanis (37) in connection with the incident. The public have been urged not to approach him.

The mayor of the Durch city said three people have died and nine were injured in the shooting.

Authorities immediately raised the terror alert for the area to the maximum level and said they are considering the possibility of a "terrorist motive" in the attack.

Dutch military police went on extra alert at Dutch airports and at key buildings in the country as the Utrecht manhunt took place.

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

Anti-terror officers gathered in front of a block of flats close to the scene.

Utrecht police said trauma helicopters were sent to the scene and appealed to the public to stay away.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said: "Our nation was hit by an attack in Utrecht. It is clear there were shots on tram passengers in Utrecht, that there are wounded." He said that "a terror motive is not excluded".

Mr Rutte said that throughout the nation "there is a mix of disbelief and disgust".

He added: "If it is a terror attack then we have only one answer: our nation, democracy must be stronger that fanaticism and violence."

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 person was involved in the attack.

"We want to try to catch the person responsible as soon as possible," Mr Jens said.

The country's anti-terror co-ordinator 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".

Police in Germany say they have upped surveillance on the country's border and are on the lookout for the gunman.

Heinrich Onstein, a spokesman for the federal police in the border state of North Rhine-Westphalia, said additional police had been added to watch not only major roads, but also minor crossings as well as railway routes.

 

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Police in the central Dutch city of Utrecht say they are investigating a shooting in a tram that left one person dead and "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 this morning on a tram at a busy traffic intersection.

Heavily-armed police have now massed outside a building near the site of the tram shooting.

 Utrecht is south of Amsterdam

 

 

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