Shooting at several locations in Holland's Utrecht city: Counter-terrorism agency

Tuesday, 19 Mar, 2019

A gunman killed three people and wounded five during a mid-morning tram ride Monday in the Dutch city of Utrecht, raising the specter of another extremist attack only days after the murderous rampage in New Zealand.

Identifying the suspect as 37-year-old Gökmen Tanis, a resident of Turkey, police said the gunman is still at large, prompting authorities to raise the terrorist threat to its highest level the province. Police issued a photo of a bearded Tanis aboard a tram in a blue hooded top.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte cancelled a meeting with his ruling coalition and was being briefed on the situation, officials said.

Schools were told to shut their doors and security was also stepped up at mosques. According to police, the incident occurred at 10:45am (local time).

Police forces at 24 Oktoberplace in Utrecht, on March 18, 2019, after a deadly shooting at the site.

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

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"The surrounding area has been cordoned off and we are investigating the matter", Utrecht police said.

Many people were injured on Monday in shooting in the Dutch town of Utrecht, police said. "We think there is just one perpetrator, but we can not exclude the possibly of there being several perpetrators", according to the New York Times. "And didn't exclude the possibility that more people might have been involved".

One witness, Jimmy de Koster, told a local television station that he heard gunfire in the square and saw a young woman who seemed to have been wounded lying on the ground.

A reporter for Dutch national broadcaster NOS said a white sheet had been placed over a body near the tram where the shooting took place, news agency Reuters said.

"We want to try to catch the person responsible as soon as possible", Mr Jens said. Heavily armed anti-terror officers gathered in front of an apartment block close to the scene.

Police said a red Renault compact vehicle was carjacked shortly before the shooting and later found across town. In the Dutch capital, The Hague, the military police who patrol government buildings were carrying their rifles at the ready, a different posture than normal, according to Dutch media.