A suspected gunman is at large after a shooting on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht, which police said may have had a “terrorist motive”.

The Dutch government raised the terrorism threat level to the highest possible in the Utrecht province, and security was increased at schools, mosques and transportation hubs across the country.

Police said they believe at least person had been killed and several others injured.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he was “deeply concerned” by the incident.

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.

Police spokesman Bernhard Jens said that “one explanation is that the person [suspect] fled by car.” He did not rule out the possibility that more than one person was involved. “We want to try to catch the person responsible as soon as possible,” Jens said.

An anti-terrorism unit and emergency services rushed to the scene around the 24 Oktoberplein junction, where a square at a tram station was cordoned off. Three helicopters were despatched to the area after the shooting, which took place at about 10.45am.

Police appealed to the public to stay away to allow first responders to do their work.

The local broadcaster RTV Utrecht quoted a witness as saying he had seen a woman lying on the ground amid some kind of confrontation. Several men ran away from the scene, the witness said.

More details soon …

Source: Guardian

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