Unknown armed men storm private TV station in complex attack in Kabul

Afghan security personnel rescue a man from the Shamshad TV building after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Police officer Jan Agha says three people including a suicide bomber attacked the TV station. (AP)
Updated 07 November 2017
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Unknown armed men storm private TV station in complex attack in Kabul

KABUL: A group of gunmen stormed a private TV station in a commando-style assault in the Afghan capital on Tuesday, resulting in the deaths of several people, in the latest spell of escalation of attacks in the country.
The Taliban militants distanced themselves from the attack on Shamshad TV station which lies in a crowded part of downtown Kabul and is only two miles away from the presidential palace.
Sounds of a number of blasts and exchange of gunfire were heard from the area.
Initially, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the entrance of the TV, paving the ground for entry of a number of attackers inside, witnesses said.
At least two guards of the station lost their lives in the blast and one its female staff was shot dead while trying to flee, local media said.
The attackers carried hand grenades and bombs, witnesses said.
The interior ministry said police and reinforcements were deployed and were trying to deal with the incident in the city where a series of attacks last month killed scores of people.
A number of press organizations have come under attacks of militants in recent years in Afghanistan.
Shamshad, like most media air anti-Taliban and Daesh advertisements and is seen as running racy songs and soap operas.


At least one dead in multiple shooting in Dutch city of Utrecht, police hunting Turkish-born man

Updated 7 min 4 sec ago
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At least one dead in multiple shooting in Dutch city of Utrecht, police hunting Turkish-born man

  • Police are not ruling out terrorism as a possible motive
  • ‘Threat level has gone to 5, exclusively for the Utrecht province’

DUBAI: At least one person is dead and multiple others injured in a shooting incident in Utrecht, in The Netherlands.

Police have not ruled out terrorism as a possible motive in the shooting that left several people “heavily injured” - the shooter remains at large. Police have erected a white tent over an area where a body appears to be lying next to a tram where the shooting happened, AP reported.

Utrecht Police tweeted an image of a man named Gökman Tanis, asking people for information on him in connection with the incident — but warned members of the public not to approach him.

The main counterterrorism unit in The Netherlands, the  National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV), told the Dutch public broadcaster that the incident had all the characteristics of a terrorist attack.

Counter-terrorism forces have surrounded a building where the gunman may be located, local broadcaster NOS News reported.

There was gunfire at several locations in the city, the Dutch national counter-terrorism chief said.

“Shooting took place this morning at several locations in Utrecht,” Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg told a news conference in The Hague. “A major police operation is under way to arrest the gunman.”

The Dutch anti-terror coordinator has raised the threat alert to its highest level around the central Dutch town of Utrecht following the shooting incident on a tram in the city, with the shooter still on the run.

Paramilitary police have increased security at airports, mosques and other vital public infrastructure. Police have also advised schools in the area to keep their doors closed.
Anti-terror coordinator Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said in a statement that the “threat level has gone to 5, exclusively for the Utrecht province,” referring to the highest level. 
“The culprit is still on the run. A terror motive cannot be excluded,” he said in a Twitter message. He called on citizens to closely follow the indications of the local police. 
Dutch police say they are looking for a least one person who might have fled by car.

Spokesman Bernhard Jens did not exclude more people might be involved. 
“We want to try to catch the person responsible as soon as possible,” Jens said.

A hotline to address queries about the situation. The Netherlands has one of the strictest gun laws and ownership is limited to law enforcement, hunters and target shooters.

 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that the government is currently holding crisis talks.

Aalbersberg earlier said on Twitter that he was having “crisis consultations”, adding: “Terrorist motive not excluded. Information not yet full.”

 

Local media reports have said counter-terrorism police were seen at the scene.

“Shooting incident... Several injured people reported. Assistance started,” the Utrecht police Twitter account said. “It is a shooting incident in a tram. Several trauma helicopters have been deployed to provide help.”

The 24 Oktoberplein is a busy Utrecht traffic junction, with a tram stop. Tram traffic was temporarily stopped due to the incident, but the trams are currently running again between Zuilenstein, Nieuwegein and IJsselstein.

(With AFP and Reuters)