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Dutch shooting: Utrecht police arrest suspect after three killed

By The Nigerian Voice

A man has been arrested following a shooting in the central 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 have arrested Gokmen Tanis, a 37-year-old Turkish man, in connection with the shooting.

"We have just been informed that the suspect has been arrested," police chief Rob van Bree told reporters.

It is not yet clear where Mr Tanis was detained.
Schools were closed and security was increased while counter-terrorism police worked to locate the suspect earlier on Monday.

A photograph of him was posted on social media by police, who warned people against approaching him.

A number of raids were reportedly carried out and counter-terrorism officers were pictured surrounding a building near the 24 Oktoberplein junction, where the tram attack took place.

Video captionPriority 'finding Utrecht tram gunman'

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

"We cannot exclude a terrorist motive," Dutch anti-terrorism co-ordinator Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg told a news conference earlier 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."

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 copyrightEPA

Image captionPolice surrounded a house earlier on Monday

Meanwhile, the threat level has been reduced following the arrest. It was earlier raised to its highest point in the province of Utrecht. Paramilitary police were seen in airports and mosques.

Utrecht University closed all of its buildings and trains were not allowed to run into the city's central station. Some public transport services have now reopened.

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 copyrightEPA