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Dutch shooting: Utrecht police arrest suspect after three killed

Police released this image of Gokmen Tanis

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@PolitieUtrecht / Twitter

Image caption

Police released this image of Gokmen Tanis

A man has been arrested following a shooting in the Dutch city of Utrecht which left three people dead, police say.

Five others were injured in the incident, which the authorities say appears to be a terrorist attack.

Police earlier said they were hunting Gokmen Tanis, a 37-year-old Turkish man, in connection with the shooting.

Schools were closed and security was increased while counter-terrorism police worked to locate the suspect.

It is not yet clear where the man was arrested.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte earlier said the country had been “jolted by an attack”, which he described as “deeply disturbing”.

Media captionDutch anti-terrorism co-ordinator: “Priority is finding gunman”

“We cannot exclude a terrorist motive,” Dutch anti-terrorism co-ordinator Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg told a news conference on Monday.

The tram attack happened at about 10:45 local time (09:45 GMT). One witness told local media that “a man started shooting wildly”.

Another witness told Dutch public broadcaster NOS that he had helped an injured woman after the tram came to a stop.

“I looked behind me and saw someone lying there behind the tram,” he said. “People got out of their cars… and they started to lift her up.

“I helped to pull her out and then I saw a gunman run towards us, with his gun raised,” he said. “I heard people yell ‘Shooter! Shooter!’ and I started to run.”

Counter-terrorism police earlier surrounded a house near the 24 Oktoberplein junction, where the tram attack took place.

A local businessman told BBC Turkish that Gokmen Tanis had previously fought in Russia’s republic of Chechnya.

Jihadist groups, including those aligned with the Islamic State (IS) group, have long operated in the region.

“He was arrested because of his connections with [IS] but released later,” the businessman told the BBC.

Image copyright
EPA

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Police surrounded a house earlier on Monday

Meanwhile, the threat level has been temporarily raised to its highest point in the province of Utrecht and extended until 21:00 GMT.

Utrecht University has closed all of its buildings and trains are not allowed to run into the city’s central station.

Paramilitary police have been sent to airports and mosques amid increased security concerns.

Utrecht, the Netherlands’ fourth largest city, has a population of about 340,000.

Crime levels are low and gun killings are rare, which is the case for much of the country.

Image copyright
EPA

Image caption

The threat level has been temporarily raised to its highest point in the province of Utrecht


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Dutch shooting: Utrecht police arrest suspect after three killed

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