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Terrorism threat level raised to highest in Dutch province of Utrecht after tram shooting

One person has been killed and several wounded after a gunman opened fire on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht on Monday, local media has reported.

Police only spoke of one gunman but did not rule out the possibility there might be others, the ANP news agency said.

The victim was completely covered with a sheet and lying on the tracks between two carriages, Dutch ANP news agency reported, quoting one of its reporters. There was no immediate official confirmation.

“Several shots were fired in a tram and several people were injured. Helicopters are at the scene and no arrests have been made,” police spokesman Joost Lanshage said, as the police continued to hunt for the gunman.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he was “deeply concerned” and that crisis talks were to be held in response to the incident. Dutch radio said security had been increased at the seat of the government in The Hague.

Local broadcaster RTV Utrecht quoted an eyewitness that said he had seen a woman lying on the ground amid some kind of confrontation. Several men ran away from the scene, the witness said.


Emergency services respond to reports of a shooting in Utrecht.
Source: AAP

Local media showed photographs of masked, armed police and emergency vehicles surrounding a tram that had stopped near a road bridge.

Dutch police said they were investigating the shooting and would consider the possibility that the attack was motivated by terrorism.

The head of the Dutch national counter-terrorism service, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, said on Twitter that he was having “crisis consultations”, adding: “Terrorist motive not excluded. Information not yet full.”

The October 21st square, a tram station stop outside the city center, had been cordoned off as emergency services were at the scene, police said.

Utrecht’s transport authority said all tram services in the city had been cancelled.

“We do not know how long this will take,” they wrote in a Tweet.

Source: SBS News

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