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Another Terror Attack Claims One Life In Dutch City Of Utrecht

Al Jazeera || Monday, 18th March, 2019

One person has been killed and several wounded after a gunman opened fire in a tram in the central Dutch city of Utrecht.

Police, including heavily armed officers, flooded the area after the shooting happened on Tuesday morning at a busy traffic intersection in a residential neighbourhood.

A witness told local broadcaster RTV Utrecht that the shooting took place inside the tram at the 24 Oktoberplein in the city’s west.

Police also said a hunt was under way for the gunman in an incident that authorities said appeared to be a terrorist attack.

Dutch broadcaster NOS said police surrounded a building where the suspected gunman was believed to be holed up. There was no immediate word on who the gunman was or on the precise number or identity of the victims.

Authorities raised the terrorism threat to its highest level in Utrecht province, schools were told to shut their doors and paramilitary police increased security at airports and other vital infrastructure. Security was also stepped up at mosques.

A witness told NOS he saw an injured woman running from the tram. She appeared to have been shot in the chest and had blood on her hands and clothes.

“I brought her into my car and helped her. When the police arrived, she was unconscious,” NOS cited the witness as saying.

Emergency services, including police and medical helicopters, were at the scene of the shooting.

The National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) said the incident had the “characteristics of a terrorist attack”.

Political parties have announced they are suspending campaigning for the provincial elections that are due to take place on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte convened crisis talks, saying he was deeply concerned about the incident, which came three days after the killing of 50 people in mass shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.


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