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COPENHAGEN

Several killed in Copenhagen shopping mall shooting, Danish police say

Danish police said on Sunday that a shooting inside a Copenhagen shopping mall had left "several dead" and others wounded, adding that a suspect, who was later arrested was 22 years old and "ethnically Danish".

Several killed in Copenhagen shopping mall shooting, Danish police say
Fields shopping center in Copenhagen, Denmark, Sunday July 3, 2022. Several have been shot in Fields shopping center in Copenhagen and one person has been arrested. The police will hold a press conference at 20.45.. (Foto: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix)

“We now know that there are several dead,” Copenhagen police chief Søren Thomassen told journalists in a press conference on Sunday evening.

The shooting happened at the large Field’s shopping mall in the Amager district between the city centre and the airport.

“We are investigating this as an incident in which we cannot rule out terrorism,” he said adding that it was too early to talk about a possible motive.

Thomassen said the suspect arrested over the shooting was as “ethnically Danish” and police believe he acted alone.

The exact number of deaths and injuries had not been confirmed by police.

Some witnesses had described the gunman as a man around 1.8 metres tall carrying a hunting rifle.

Danish police also did not say whether the suspect was previously known to them nor any details about the weapon used.

Thomassen said shots had been fired in several locations inside the shopping centre.

Police said they have initiated a major operation to ensure there are no additional gunman besides the arrested individual.

Until this can be confirmed, a wider police operation was taking place, Thomassen said.

“We must be completely certain that we have this situation under control,” he said.

“This is a massive operation. And it’s not just in Copenhagen, it’s all of Zealand,” he said.

“We have no information currently that can confirm this happened in cooperation with others,” Thomassen said.

Police reinforcements were deployed around the large Field’s mall in the Amager district, Copenhagen earlier police wrote on Twitter.

“We’re on the scene, shots were fired and several people have been hit,” they said.

Images from the scene showed women carrying their children and ambulance personnel carrying people away on stretchers.

“Terrible reports of shooting in Fields. We do not yet know for sure how many are injured or dead, but it is very serious,” Copenhagen’s mayor, Sophie Andersen, said in a post to social media.

According to public broadcaster DR, at least three people were being treated in hospital.

Eyewitnesses quoted by Danish media said they saw more than 100 people rush towards the mall’s exit as the first shots were heard.

“We could see that many people suddenly ran towards the exit and then we heard a bang. Then we ran out of Field’s too,” Thea Schmidt, who was in the mall at time of the attack told broadcaster TV2.

Another witness named Isabella told DR:  “All of a sudden we heard gunshots, I heard 10 shots, and we ran as far as
we could to take refuge in the toilet.

She said she had hidden in the mall for two hours.

Police had urged people in the building to wait inside for their arrival and called on others to keep away from the area.

In addition, police asked that witnesses get in touch with them and called on those that had visited the shopping mall to contact their relatives.

At around 6:30pm, roads around the mall were blocked, the subway was stopped and a helicopter was flying above, according to an AFP correspondent at the scene.

Heavily armed police officers prevented onlookers from approaching and locals from returning to their homes.

The attack occurred two days after this year’s Tour de France cycling competition started took off from Copenhagen, and the Tour organisers released a statement expressing their sympathy.

“The entire caravan of the Tour de France sends its sincerest condolences to the victims and their families,” it said.

At the nearby Royal Arena, a concert with British singer Harry Styles was scheduled in the evening.

Shortly after the shooting the organiser announced it would “proceed as planned,” but later announced its cancellation, following criticism.

“My team and I pray for everyone involved in the Copenhagen shopping mall shooting. I am shocked,” Styles said in a Snapchat post.

The shooting comes just over a week after a gunman opened fire near a gay bar in Oslo in neighbouring Norway, killing two people and wounding 21 others.

In February of 2015, two people were killed and five injured in Copenhagen in a series Islamist-motivated shootings.

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NORD STREAM

Swedish prosecutor confirms Nord Stream pipeline sabotage

Swedish officials confirmed Friday that the September blasts which destroyed sections of the Nord Stream pipelines carrying gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea were acts of sabotage.

Swedish prosecutor confirms Nord Stream pipeline sabotage

“The analyses conducted found traces of explosives on several foreign objects” found at the sites of the blasts, prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist, who is leading the preliminary investigation, said in a statement.

Ljungqvist added that technical analyses were continuing in order to “draw more reliable conclusions regarding the incident.”

Sweden’s Prosecution Authority said that the “continued investigation will show if anyone can be formally suspected of a crime.”

The four underwater explosions at the Nord Stream gas pipelines carrying natural gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea in September this year were caused by a force corresponding to hundreds of kilograms of explosives, a Danish-Swedish report has previously concluded.

The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines have been at the centre of geopolitical tensions as Russia cut gas supplies to Europe in suspected retaliation against Western sanctions following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Four large gas leaks were discovered on Nord Stream’s two pipelines off the Danish island of Bornholm at the end of September, with seismic institutes recording two underwater explosions just prior.

Investigators had already said preliminary inspections had reinforced suspicions of sabotage.

Russia and Western countries, particularly the United States, have traded bitter barbs over who is responsible for the blasts.

“The analyses conducted found traces of explosives on several foreign objects” at the sites of the blasts, prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist, who is leading the preliminary investigation, said in a statement on Friday.

Ljungqvist added technical analyses were continuing in order to “draw more reliable conclusions regarding the incident”.

Sweden’s prosecution authority said the “continued investigation will show if anyone can be formally suspected of a crime”.

The Swedish Security Service (SÄPO) — which is conducting the investigation under the prosecutors’ leadership — confirmed the findings in a separate statement but both authorities declined to comment further.

The closely watched investigation has also been supported by Sweden’s coast guard, the Swedish armed forces and the police.

Trading blame

While the leaks were in international waters, two of them were in the Danish exclusive economic zone and two in Sweden’s.

At the end of October, Nord Stream sent a Russian-flagged civilian vessel to inspect the damage in the Swedish zone.

The same week the prosecution authority announced it was conducting a second probe of the damage to complement the first done in early October.

In early November, the operator said roughly 250 metres (820 feet) of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline had been destroyed and that craters with a depth of three to five metres had been found on the seabed.

Although the pipelines were not in operation when the leaks occurred, they both still contained gas which spewed up through the water and into the atmosphere.

Moscow has accused Western countries of being behind the explosions of the pipelines, but has not provided any firm proof.

In early November, the Kremlin accused Britain of “directing and coordinating” the explosions.

The accusation was rejected as “distractions which are part of the Russian playbook” by a spokesman for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Ukraine and some Western countries have meanwhile pointed the finger at Russia.

In mid-October, Russia said it was ready to resume deliveries of gas through the parts of the pipeline not affected by the leaks, with President Vladimir Putin saying “the ball was in the EU’s court”.

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