Europe was through the lens of another attack and this time around; it was the German city of Munich, which was in the eye of the storm. Reports suggest that the attacker was an 18-year-old lone gunman of Iranian descent, and it was on Friday evening, 22nd May 2016 that the episode unfolded.
The assailant is also known to have shot himself, but not after killing 18 people and wounding 21 others. Several children were injured as a result of the siege, and a teenage girl was also amongst the dead.
Eye-witnesses bear testimony to the fact that the gunman targeted diners at McDonald’s restaurant, after which he proceeded to a shopping mall, in the same vicinity.
Earlier it was reported that several gunmen were involved, but later the fact came to light that the shooter was acting alone. Government authorities have not yet been able to establish a motive, and it remains unclear whether Islamic militants perpetrated the attack or it was a terrorist act.
A meeting has been scheduled between the German Chancellor, Intelligence officers, and other prominent Government officials, on Saturday, for assessing the situation.
The body of the assaulter was found in a street adjoining the mall and the bomb disposal squad was searching for explosive materials nearby.
Munich’s public transport system was halted, and highways were blocked, while the police were conducting their searches. Citizens were also asked to stay indoors. However, the all-clear signal was conveyed after the operations were completed.
The incident took place around 6 pm at a McDonald’s outlet, situated outside the Olympia shopping centre, near the 1972 Munich Games location.
Earlier it was perceived that there were multiple attacks taking place at various locations in the city and the police had directed their efforts to contain the situation at the scene of the crime and other junctions.
Emergency services and the assistance team were also directed to the site, as part of the rescue attempts, to help the victims. The hospital staff including doctors, nurses and surgeons were also present for attending to the casualties promptly.
The police had also ordered the Munich railway station to be evacuated, causing widespread panic amongst the public at the spot.
The local security guards were supported by Germany’ elite task force, the GSG9, for bringing the situation under control.
World leaders were saddened by the unfortunate incident and condemned the attacks in the strongest tones. Terrorism is now being viewed as a global phenomenon, and it was decided to take the requisite measures to put a stop to the menace.