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

A lone 18-year-old German-Iranian attacker who shot dead 10 people, including himself, in Munich was inspired by other mass shootings around the world with police on Saturday ruling out any link to the Islamic State extremist group.

Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae said the gunman, a student named in the German media as Ali David Sonboly, acted alone when he opened fire in a McDonald's restaurant and a nearby shopping centre on Friday. Prosecutors say he suffered from depression.

Andrae said the assailant had no connection to Islamic State, which has claimed recent attacks in the French city of Nice, in which 84 people died, and a knife-and-axe attack on a train in Germany in which four people and a passer-by were injured.

Instead, investigators found material on mass shootings in the gunman's room when they raided his family's Munich apartment early Saturday after Friday night's shooting spree in which 27 people were also injured.

Andrae told a press conference that he believed the far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, whose rampage in Norway five years ago left 77 people dead, would have played a role in helping to drive the Munich shooter to launch his attack.

"It is obvious that it did," Andrae said, noting the material in the gunman's room, which included a book entitled, Rampage in My Head - Why Students Kill.

Security officials said the material showed the gunman had also been fascinated with the actions of a 17-year-old German who had shot dead 15 of his classmates seven years ago in the western German town of Winnenden, and that he may had felt bullied.

The Munich attack coincided with events in Norway marking the day five years ago when Breivik began his rampage by detonating a homemade bomb in Oslo following a deadly shooting spree on the nearby island of Utoya.

In her first public comments since the shooting, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday that Germans are mourning those who died and "share the pain" of the victims' families and friends.

Merkel, who was speaking after a special meeting of the security cabinet, praised the police force not just for its professionalism but also for helping and protecting citizens. She spoke of the many gestures of kindness of Munich residents, praising their solidarity in such difficult times.

Police chief Andrae said all the fatalities were from Munich and the surrounding area. Two 15-year-olds and three 14-year-olds were killed, according to investigators. Other victims were aged 17, 19, 20 and 45 years.

Three women were among the nine killed. Three Turkish citizens were among the dead, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Saturday the authorities had no information about the attacker prior to Friday.

De Maiziere visited the site of the attack later Saturday with his Bavarian counterpart, Joachim Herrmann, and appealed to people in Germany and Europe to remain calm.

The federal interior minister said he understood the unrest in the population after recent terrorist attacks in France and Germany, but urged caution in understanding each individual case and its background to draw the correct conclusions.

Police said that the attacker, who was born and grew up in Germany, was carrying 300 rounds of ammunition in a rucksack and had a 9mm caliber gun.

The gun was likely to have been obtained illegally and police were trying to establish how he got it.

Police say they are still trying to verify a series of mobile phone videos of the shooting, which have been screened by German media and which show the panic in the shopping centre when the gunman opened fire.

Another video filmed by a nearby resident apparently showed the person believed to be the gunman declaring: "I am a German. I was born in Germany.

"I was hospitalized for psychological problems," he is heard saying.

Police believe he may have also tried to lure his victims to the McDonald's where he launched his shooting spree with a fake Facebook post offering free meals.

Munich was returning to normal on Saturday after authorities placed the Bavarian capital on high alert, temporarily shutting down the city's mass public transport services, evacuating the main railway station and calling on people to remain in their homes.

Munich state prosecutor Thomas Steinkraus-Koch said that his office was treating the attack as a classic case of someone running amok, with the shooter having "no political motivation".

Police also say there was no evidence that he was influenced by the axe-and-knife attack by a 17-year-old Afghan refugee on passengers on a regional train and a passer-by near the Bavarian town of Wuerzberg.

Steinkraus-Koch also believes the attacker was suffering from psychiatric problems, saying investigators have so far not establish details of his mental state but could have had a depressive illness.

"We have indications that the offender could have been suffering from a significant mental disorder," Herrmann told a press conference.

Police also ruled out the shootings having any link with refugees living in Germany.

Latest news

Messi's last minute penalty saves Barcelona from shock draw

Barcelona beat Leganes 2-1 with a last minute penalty from Lionel Messi in the Spanish first division on Sunday.

At least 30 injured after explosion in Bogota

A explosion in the Macarena area of Bogota injured at least 30 people on Sunday, many of them police officers who were guarding a bull running through the streets of the Colombian capital.

Vojvodina institutions hold conference on Bunjevci's non-Croat ethnic background

There are around 16,000 members of the Bunjevci community in Vojvodina who deny their Croat ethnic background. They are represented by the Bunjevci National Council which enjoys the support of state authorities, and, since the change of government in Vojvodina, of the provincial authorities as well.

SpaceX rocket blasts off from historic launch pad en route to ISS

A commercial rocket built by SpaceX is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) with a load of research equipment, cargo and supplies, NASA said Sunday.

Defence deals worth 1.2 billion dollars announced at key UAE show

Deals worth nearly 4.4 billion dirhams (1.2 billion dollars) were reached at a major defence show that opened Sunday in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), an official said.

Thousands protest in Malta against controversial press law reforms

Thousands of people attended a demonstration in Malta on Sunday, answering a call by the main opposition party to protest against what it described as a threat to democracy and freedom of expression.

London's mayor calls for Trump's state visit to be cancelled

US President Donald Trump should be denied a state visit to Britain due to his "cruel and shameful" immigration policies, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Sunday.

'Now more than ever': US scientists gird for confrontation with Trump

Normally any annual gathering of American scientists is relatively non-political. But, with Donald Trump in the White House, things are different at this year's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Many researchers are worried about their future and are urging colleagues to protest - and remain vigilant.

Int'l conference on post-war monuments in post-communist Europe held in Zagreb

The event was organised by the Zagreb-based association SF:ius in cooperation with the Croatian chapter of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

Serbians wouldn't go to war for Kosovo - poll

A majority of citizens in Serbia wouldn't go to war to claim back Kosovo, shows a survey conducted by the Serbian nongovernmental organisation "Belgrade Centre for Security Policy".

Grabar-Kitarovic, Lavrov find solution to air pollution caused by Bosanski Brod oil refinery

Croatia and Russia have found a solution for the problem of air pollution caused by a Russian-owned oil refinery in Bosanski Brod, northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has been poisoning residents of Slavonski Brod, a town across the Sava River in Croatia, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said in Munich on Sunday.

Istria border police discover 20 migrants in van

During routine border control, police in the northern Croatian Adriatic region of Istria on Saturday discovered 20 migrants in a van driven by a Croatian national, the Ministry of the Interior said.