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Munich gunman 'lured kids to McDonald's with free food Facebook ad' before deadly shooting

Police secure the area of the shooting at the McDonald's outside the OEZ shopping centre yesterday
Police secure the area of the shooting at the McDonald's outside the OEZ shopping centre yesterday

An 18-year-old German-Iranian man opened fire in a crowded Munich shopping mall and a nearby McDonald's killing nine people and wounding 16 others before killing himself, the chief of police in the Bavarian capital said on Saturday.

Police gave a "cautious all clear" early on Saturday morning, more than seven hours after the attack began, and brought much of the city to a standstill as all public transit systems were shut down amid a massive manhunt.

They said a body found near the scene was that of the shooter and he appeared to have acted alone.

Investigators are also probing claims he may have set up a fake Facebook account which he used to post an advert offering free food in a bid to lure children to their deaths.

Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae told a news conference the suspect was a dual citizen from Munich and his motive was still "fully unclear".

Mr Andrae said the suspect's body was found about two-and-a-half hours after the attack and was identified to be the shooter based on witness statements and closed circuit television footage of the attack.

He was not previously known to police and there was no evidence of any links to terrorist organisations, Mr Andrae said.

Witnesses had reported seeing three men with firearms near the Olympia Einkaufszentrum mall.

However, the police chief said two people who fled the area quickly were investigated but had "nothing to do with the incident".

Mr Andrae said the nine fatalities included young people and that children were among the 16 wounded, three of whom were in critical condition.

Neighbours of the attacker told German media that he was a "quiet guy."

"He lived right next to me," German newspaper Bild quoted a neighbour as saying.

"A friend of mine went to school with him and said he was rather a quiet guy. He recognised him from the videos from the scene."

Police commandos, armed with night vision equipment and dogs, raided an apartment in the Munich neighbourhood of Maxvorstadt early on Saturday where Bild said the gunman lived with his parents.

Friday was also the fifth anniversary of the massacre in Norway by Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people. Breivik is a hero for far-right militants in Europe and America.

Thousands of people had been crowding the streets and squares in Munich's city centre on Friday for a beer festival.

"There were a few people who came running towards us who were screaming and in panic. But mostly it was surprisingly calm," said Elena Hakes, wearing a blue traditional dress, who had been with a friend in the Odeonsplatz square.

The incidents in Germany follow an attack in Nice, France, in which a Tunisian drove a truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day, killing 84. Islamic State claimed responsibility.

The Munich assault was also reminiscent of militant attacks in a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2013, and in Mumbai, India, in 2008.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende said on Twitter: "Horrible killings in Munich. Taking place on the same day as we mourn & remember the appalling terror that hit Norway so hard five years ago."