GERMANY CRIME MUNICH SHOOTING.jpg
Policemen stand gusrd at Stachus hotel and secure the area after a shootout in Munich, Germany, 22 July 2016. After a shootout in the Olympia shopping centre (OEZ), the police reported several injuries and possible deaths.
Photograph: EPA/SVEN HOPPE

At least eight people have been killed and several others injured in a terrorist attack in Munich, German police said Friday.

Police spoke of an "acute state of terror" in the southern German city after a shooting at its Olympia shopping centre resulted in a widespread state of panic in the city.

Police said that three armed suspects were still on the run, but later added that one of the bodies found at the scene may be one of the perpetrators.

Munich authorities have activated the country's GSG 9 counter-terrorism unit and asked for reinforcement from police units across the country.

"We are trying to get the situation under control. We don't know where the perpetrators are," Thomas Baumann, the deputy spokesman of the Munich police department told dpa.

Munich authorities asked residents not to leave their houses and to avoid public places. The city's central train station was evacuated and public transportation was brought to a halt.

The shooting started at 5:52 pm (1552 GMT) at a fast-food restaurant in the shopping centre, according to Baumann.

Police and emergency vehicles could be seen outside the shopping centre and helicopters were flying over the city.

There have been no terrorist incidents in Munich aside from a shooting at the Olympia shopping centre, police say, refuting reports in German media about an incident at the Karlsplatz square, also known as Stachus.

The German government called a crisis meeting at the chancellery in Berlin but Chancellor Angela Merkel was not yet in attendance, chancellery sources told dpa.

Germany has been on high alert since Monday, when an Islamist asylum seeker injured five people in a knife-and-axe attack on a commuter train headed to the southern city of Wuerzburg.

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