GERMANY CRIME MUNICH SHOOTING.jpg
Fire fighters gathering at the entrance of a shopping centre in which a shooting was reported, Munich, Germany, 22 July 2016.
Photograph: EPA/MATTHIAS BALK

Several people were killed on Friday in a shooting at the Olympia shopping centre in Munich, a police spokesman told dpa.

"We are expecting several dead," he said, adding that several others had also been injured.

The shooter or shooters had not yet been captured and the motive for the attack remains unclear, according to the authorities.

Police had received a call around 6 pm local time (1600 GMT), a police spokeswoman said.

The shooting had started at 5:52 pm at a fast-food restaurant in the shopping centre, according to the deputy spokesman of the Munich police department, Thomas Baumann.

Police cordoned off the area near Munich's Olympic Park as officers rushed to the scene from all over the city. Police and emergency vehicles could be seen outside the shopping centre. Helicopters were flying over the city.

On Twitter police asked residents to stay indoors and avoid public places. Underground trains were suspended in the city.

Heavily-armed police also rushed to the city centre, where a panic had broken out and people ran from the pedestrian area to the central Karlsplatz, also known as Stachus.

There had been a false alarm, police said, but authorities still weren't sure what the situation was in the city centre.

Meanwhile, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann was on his way to the capital of the southern German state.

The Olympia shopping centre was opened in 1972 when Munich hosted the Summer Olympics. It is located in the middle of a residential area, two underground stops away from the Olympic stadium.

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