DENMARK CRIME CHRISTIANIA SHOOTING.jpg
Police officers investigate at the scene of a shooting in Freetown Christiania neighborhood of Copenhagen, Denmark, early 01 September 2016.
Photograph: EPA/JENS NOERGAARD LARSEN

A man suspected of shooting two police officers and a civilian in the Danish capital Copenhagen sympathized with radical Islamist groups but that was not a motive in the crime, police said Thursday.

An intense manhunt was launched after the shootings late Wednesday in Christiania, a self-proclaimed autonomous section of the Danish capital where the sale of hashish has attracted both drug users and drug peddlers.

The shooting occurred when the two plainclothes officers were attempting to arrest the man.

The 25-year-old suspect escaped but was arrested early Thursday after a shootout with police in a nearby district of Copenhagen while trying to flee. Officers opened fire as he was armed.

A court later ordered him remanded in custody in his absentia. The closed door hearing was held although the suspect was in hospital in critical condition.

Police later issued a statement stating he was a Danish citizen, born in Bosnia-Herzegovina and had lived in Denmark since age four.

They added that he "apparently had ties" with the Salafist organization, Millatu Ibrahim, which neighbouring Germany prohibited in 2012 and also had "sympathies with IS [Islamic State]. Currently, there is nothing to suggest this influenced the shootings," the statement said.

The suspected gunman was believed to have links to the hashish trade in Christiania.

Two other arrests were also made, but one suspect was released, police said.

One of the police officers was in serious condition after being hit in the head. The other officer was hit in the leg.

A foreign national visiting Christiania was shot in the thigh.

Christiania has about 1,000 permanent inhabitants, including hippies, artists and political activists. The area's restaurants, coffee bars, shops and music venues attract thousands of visitors every year.

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