UTRECHT: Three people were killed and nine other wounded nine others on a tram when a gunman opened fire in the central Dutch city of Utrecht.
The firing incident sparked a manhunt that saw heavily armed officers with sniffer dogs zero in on an apartment building close to the shooting.
Authorities immediately raised the terror alert for the area to the maximum level, and the city’s mayor said a “terror motive” was the most likely theory.
A few hours after the shooting, Utrecht police released a photo of a 37-year-old man born in Turkey who they said was “associated with the incident.” The photo showed a bearded man on board a tram, dressed in a dark blue hooded top.
Police warned citizens not to approach the man, whom they identified as Gokmen Tanis, but call authorities instead.
The Utrecht attack came three days after 50 people were killed when an immigrant-hating white nationalist opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand during Friday prayers. There was no immediate indication of any link between the two events.
Mayor Jan van Zanen confirmed three deaths and said that nine people were wounded, three of them seriously.
“We cannot exclude, even stronger, we assume a terror motive. Likely there is one attacker, but there could be more,” van Zanen said.
“Our nation was hit by an attack in Utrecht,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said. He said that “a terror motive is not excluded.”