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10 including suspect killed in Munich shooting spree

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Berlin, July 23: Police in German city of Munich said a total of 10 people have died, including the gunman who opened fire near Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall in the Moosach district of Munich on Friday evening.

Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae told reporters early Saturday that the man who killed nine people and injured several others in a shooting rampage at a mall in the German city of Munich has committed suicide when he encountered police and was likely a lone shooter.

“We found a man, who killed him himself. We assume, that he was the only shooter. #gunfire #munich,” the police had tweeted earlier.

A total of 21 people were injured, he said, including three who were in serious condition.

The police chief said that the gunman was 18-year-old Iranian from Munich who had been living in Munich for longer than two years, CNN reported.

“Police don’t believe the gunman, an 18-year-old German-Iranian, had any accomplices,” he noted.

The motive for the shootings was unclear, the police president said, adding that 2,300 law enforcement officials responded to the incident, BBC reported.

Police had declared a terror alarm for south Germany after shooting.

Munich’s main train station was evacuated completely and the city’s transport system was suspended.

People had offered space to the stranded people in their own homes on social media, using the hashtag #Offenetuer — which means “open door” — for people who are stranded without a way to get home, BBC reported.

Muslim newspaper in Germany, Islamische Zeitung, tweeted that mosques in Munich would stay open overnight for anyone who needs refuge.

The Czech Republic’s interior minister, Milan Chovanec, had told local television that the country’s border was reinforced in case the Munich attacker or attackers tried to flee, German broadcaster NTV reported.

A state of emergency was declared in Munich and special operations are still underway.

Reports of shooting at the Marienplatz station in Munich also made rounds in the media.

Reports also say a gunman opened fire in Stachus Square, Munich’s main square just three miles away from the Munich Olympia centre.

Terrified shoppers were seen running for their lives from the Munich Olympia Shopping Centre after hearing gunshots.

A video purporting to show the shooter, dressed in black, firing 20 shots has been posted on Twitter. The footage shows him outside a McDonald’s directly outside the shopping centre.

The area around the Munich Olympia Shopping Centre was sealed off and the police had told people to stay at home and avoid the streets.

The anti-terror special unit of the federal police was deployed to the city. Border patrol helicopters were deployed to hunt for the attackers.

The authorities had warned of the danger of further attacks.

Read More at: Watch exclusive video of Munich Shooting spree at mall

The shopping mall is located next to the Olympic Stadium in the city where 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were murdered by the Black September Palestinian militant group during the Olympic Games in 1972.

The President of Germany, Joachim Gauck, said that he was “horrified” by the shooting in Munich.

In a statement, Mr Gauck said: “I am with all the victims in my thoughts and all those who are mourning or fearful for loved ones.”

He also offered his “solidarity” to people in the emergency services who are working this evening, trying to “protect people and save lives”.

US President Barack Obama on Friday pledged support to Germany in the wake of the shooting rampage.

The US has also issued an advisory for its citizens in Germany asking them to maintain a high level of vigilance and take steps to enhance personal security.

President Obama, who was briefed about the attack on the Olympia-Einkaufszentrum shopping mall, said, “We don’t yet know exactly what’s happening there, but obviously our hearts go out to those who may have been injured. We are going to pledge all the support they may need.”

Democratic presidential nominee for the US elections Hillary Clinton condemned the shooting.

Hillary said that she is “monitoring the horrific situation in Munich”.

“We stand with our friends in Germany as they work to bring those responsible to justice,” she tweeted.

The police president also said that two people seen fleeing the scene in a vehicle were initially considered to be suspects.

According to CNN, “On the basis of witness reports and CCTV footage” a man found dead near the scene is considered to be the suspect. Police currently believe nobody else was involved.

IANS

Middle East

Turkish Court Jails 27 For Life Over 2016 Coup Attempt

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

A Turkish court on Thursday jailed 27 former pilots and other suspects for life in one of the largest trials stemming from the bloody 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

They were convicted of crimes including murder, trying to overthrow the constitutional order and attempting to assassinate the president, an AFP reporter in the courtroom said.

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Argentina declares three-day national mourning for Maradona

The former star player and coach, most recently of the Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata football team, underwent surgery following a stroke in early November.

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Buenos Aires: The Argentina government has declared three days of national mourning for the death of football legend Diego Armando Maradona, the office of the presidency has said.

“The President of the Nation will decree three days of national mourning from the day (of his death),” according to the statement on Wednesday evening, reports Xinhua news agency.

Maradona died due to cardiorespiratory arrest at his home in the Tigre district on the northern outskirts of the capital Buenos Aires.

His body did not show “any sign of violence” and everything indicates that he died of “natural causes,” the prosecutor general of the Argentinian town of San Isidro, John Broyad, said.

According to Broyad, Maradona passed away “around 12:00” local time (1500 GMT) Wednesday at his home in the neighbourhood of San Andres, on the northern outskirts of the capital.

In statements to the press, Broyad said that “at 16:00 (local time) the work of the Forensics Police began” on the body of the former footballer.

“No signs of criminality were evident, no signs of violence,” said the prosecutor.

In addition, he reported that an autopsy would be carried out at the morgue of San Fernando Hospital, to “reliably determine the causes of death”.

The former star player and coach, most recently of the Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata football team, underwent surgery following a stroke in early November.

On October 30, Maradona had celebrated his 60th birthday.

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Diego Maradona (1960-2020): When death felt like a tackle from behind

In India, the 1986 World Cup was where all games were shown live for the first time. And since he made that World Cup his own, Maradona straddled a line between legend and God in a country he wouldn’t visit till 2008.

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Diego Maradona, the shanty-town boy who became a supernatural footballer before his life went into a downward spiral of addiction and myriad health issues for over 30 years, died of a heart attack on Wednesday. He turned 60 on October 30.

Maradona had looked death in the eye a number of times and when he underwent successful surgery for a subdural haematoma recently, his fans would have been forgiven for thinking the worst had passed. In 2004, doctors said his heart was functioning at 40% efficiency. Back then, Maradona pulled through and went on to coach Argentina in the 2010 World Cup where amid the constellation of the planet’s football star, he — in a sharp suit, a diamond stud glinting from an ear and a wristwatch on either hand — was the cynosure till Argentina were gobsmacked by Germany one day after Holland sent Brazil home.

Life, it seemed, was sucked out of that World Cup because the curtains had come down on Maradona’s performance. At press conferences — where once he climbed over the dais to bearhug a journalist who then became the story — and on the pitch where his last memorable act was possibly burying his face on son-in-law Sergio Aguero’s back as Germany scored another goal in that 4-0 rout.

The year 2004 wasn’t the only time he had flirted with death and had the world praying and believing in a miracle. One year later, he had a gastric bypass surgery to help deal with obesity. And as a boy he had survived falling into a pit where he could have drowned. On turning 45 at a party with 400 friends for company, Maradona had said: “I am 45. And I am alive,” wrote Marcela Mora y Araujo, who translated his autobiography “El Diego” in The Observer. “He’s a crazy little giant who dices with death and toboggans unto hell on a daily basis,” wrote Araujo in the introduction to the autobiography.

So it wasn’t surprising that the Maradona of 2006 had again made way to a bloated version of the genius who slalomed his way past England in the 1986 World Cup to score one of the most memorable goals of the competition ever. In Russia in 2018, the version of Maradona that filled fans with dread was seen in the World Cup when he had to be helped from his seat during the Argentina-Nigeria game. He blamed it on wine and said he was fine and we got on with our lives. So when news broke of his heart attack at home in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, it felt like a tackle from behind. How could death win this round?

In India, the 1986 World Cup was where all games were shown live for the first time. And since he made that World Cup his own, Maradona straddled a line between legend and God in a country he wouldn’t visit till 2008. In Egypt, bandits released a group of Argentine tourists on realizing they were from Maradona Country, writes Jimmy Burns, in “Hand of God” . But at least he had played a friendly there. He had not in Kolkata, where the Salt Lake stadium spilled over to see him move in a car. In Bangladesh he had not either, but it didn’t matter. Seeing God, the hero of the 1990 World Cup too and in the bit part he played in 1994 before failing a drug test, felt like an act of fulfillment itself.

Maradona’s rise coincided with football transforming into a billion dollar industry, in whose crosscurrents he found himself for most of his playing career. Except possibly the time at Napoli, where he handheld a team trod upon by the rest of the country to European glory. Two Serie A titles, two second-place finishes an Italian Cup and the UEFA Cup immortalized him in the city. It was while he was at Napoli that Maradona transformed from being an artful dodger to a messiah.

It was also where he came in contact with the Cammora, the city’s crime syndicate. It was where he became a cocaine addict. With Maradona, you see, the sublime and the ridiculous are never mutually exclusive, they exist cheek by jowl. Just as life and death did with him till the final blow on Wednesday.

“Maradona,” Burns begins in ‘Hand of God’, “is the story of a natural-born football talent who grew up to believe he was God and suffered as a result. It was on the pitch where he was the happiest, away from all his troubles, he had said. But while doing what he loved since his uncle gifted him a ball when he could barely walk, he also became a hero for the downtrodden, his ‘Hand of God’ epitomizing — justifying too perhaps — the chicanery that they needed to deal with life’s unfair hand. That magical left foot drew you to him, his outspokenness then endeared him to you.

“Poor old Diego. For so many years we have told him repeatedly, ‘You’re a God’, ‘You are a star’, ‘You are our salvation’ that we forgot to tell him the most important thing: ‘You are a man.’” The words of Jorge Valdano, Maradona’s Argentina teammate in the 1986 World Cup, sums up a life extraordinary.

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