Wednesday 23 October, 2019

The Latest: Dutch leader calls tram shooting 'an attack'

This image made available on Monday March 18, 2019 from the Twitter page of Police Utrecht shows an image of 37 year old Gokmen Tanis, who police are looking for in connection with a shooting incident on a tram.  (Police Utrecht via AP)

This image made available on Monday March 18, 2019 from the Twitter page of Police Utrecht shows an image of 37 year old Gokmen Tanis, who police are looking for in connection with a shooting incident on a tram. (Police Utrecht via AP)

The Latest on a shooting in a tram in the Netherlands (all times local):

3:10 p.m.

The mayor of the Dutch city of Utrecht says that three people have been killed in an attack on a tram and adds that a "terror motive" is the most plausible option.

Jan van Zanen also said that nine have been wounded, three of them seriously.

Van Zanen said that "we cannot exclude, even stronger, we assume a terror motive. Likely there is one attacker, but there could be more."

Dutch authorities have named a 37-year-old Turkey-born man as linked to the tram shooting.

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2:55 p.m.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says that the Netherlands has been hit by an attack in Utrecht and that terrorism isn't excluded, after one person was killed in a tram shooting along with an unknown number of wounded. 

Rutte says that "our nation was hit by an attack in Utrecht. It is clear there were shots on tram passengers in Utrecht, that there are wounded," without specifying how many. He said that "a terror motive is not excluded." 

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

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

Dutch authorities have named a 37-year-old Turkey-born man as linked to the tram shooting.

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2:30 p.m.

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 man sitting on public transport and dressed in a dark blue top with a hood tucked in his neck. Police identified him as Gokmen 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.

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1:30 p.m.

German police say they have upped surveillance on the country's border with the Netherlands and are on the lookout for the gunman behind a shooting in the Dutch city of Utrecht.

Heinrich Onstein, a spokesman for the federal police in the border state of North Rhine-Westphalia, told The Associated Press on Monday that additional police had been added to watch not only major highways, but also minor crossings as well as railway routes.

He says the federal police are in close contact with authorities in the Netherlands and have a description of the suspect.

He says initially German authorities were told to look out for a red Renault Clio compact sedan but now have been told it was found abandoned in Utrecht.

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1:15 p.m.

Heavily armed anti-terror officers have gathered in front of an apartment block close to the scene of a deadly shooting on a tram in the central Dutch city of Utrecht.

Authorities say that a suspect is still on the run following the shooting late morning Monday in which one person was killed and police said multiple others were wounded.

From the tram scene, security officials have moved to a location some 200 meters away where they are awaiting further instructions. 

Police said they were searching for the shooter "with all possible means."

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12:35 p.m.

The Dutch anti-terror coordinator has raised the threat alert to its highest level around the central Dutch town of Utrecht following the shooting incident on a tram in the city, with the shooter still on the run. 

Anti-terror coordinator Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said in a statement that the "threat level has gone to 5, exclusively for the Utrecht province," referring to the highest level. 

"The culprit is still on the run. A terror motive cannot be excluded," he said in a Twitter message. He called on citizens to closely follow the indications of the local police. 

Dutch police say they are looking for a least one person who might have fled by car.

Spokesman Bernhard Jens did not exclude more people might be involved. 

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

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12:30 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.

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 Monday morning.

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12:10 p.m.

Police in the central Dutch city of Utrecht 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.

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11:40 a.m.

Police in the central Dutch city of Utrecht say on Twitter that "multiple" people have been injured as a result of a shooting in a tram in a residential neighborhood.

Utrecht police say that trauma helicopters were sent to the scene Monday and they are appealing to the public to stay away to allow first responders to do their work.

Further details were not immediately available.

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