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Gunman kills 3 on Dutch tram, mayor says terror likely

A gunman killed three people and wounded nine others on a tram in the central Dutch city of Utrecht on Monday morning in what the mayor said appeared to be a terror attack, touching off a manhunt that saw heavily armed officers with dogs zero in on an apartment building close to the shooting.

A body is covered with a white sheet after a shooting in a tram in Utrecht, The Netherlands on March 18. 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. (AP)

Authorities immediately raised the terror alert for the area to the maximum level. Dutch military police went on extra alert at Dutch airports and at key buildings in the country as the Utrecht manhunt took place. A few hours after the shooting, Utrecht police released a photo of a 37-year-old man born in Turkey who they said was “associated with the incident.”

The photo showed a bearded man on board a tram, dressed in a dark blue hooded top. Police warned citizens not to approach the man, whom they identified as Gokmen Tanis, but call authorities instead. The Utrecht attack came three days after 50 people were killed when an immigrant-hating white nationalist opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand during Friday prayers.

There was no immediate indication of any link between the two events. Police, including heavily armed officers, flooded the area after the shooting Monday morning on a tram at a busy traffic intersection in a residential neighborhood.

They later erected a white tent over an area where a body appeared to be lying next to the tram. Utrecht police said trauma helicopters were sent to the scene and appealed to the public to stay away. Heavily armed anti-terror officers gathered in front of an apartment building close to the scene. A sniffer dogs wearing a tactical vest with a camera mounted on it was also seen outside the building. (AP)

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