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Gunman kills six in Germany attack

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Frankfurt am Main (AFP)

A gunman killed six people and seriously wounded two others in southwestern Germany on Friday, police said, with local media reporting that the victims were relatives of the shooter.

The gunman, believed to have a personal motive, launched an assault in the town of Rot am See.

Police in nearby Aalen told AFP that a man with a personal connection to the victims had been arrested and there was no indication that other gunmen were involved.

After the shooting at around 12:45 pm (1145 GMT), first responders arrived on the scene to find the dead and wounded in and around a local hotel.

Police said they responded to the shooting "in force", and images from the scene showed large numbers of emergency vehicles and heavily armed officers sealing off the area with red and white police tape.

Meanwhile forensics teams dressed in white coveralls moved in to secure evidence.

The police told local TV that the suspect was a German.

The Bild newspaper reported that the people killed were family members of the shooter, adding that the perpetrator was a man born in 1983.

News site Spiegel Online reported the victims had come together for a "family gathering".

Police were unable to confirm details of the relationships or the identity of the shooter.

The shooting took place near the train station at Rot am See, a town of 5,200 residents near Stuttgart, capital of Baden-Wuerttemberg state.

Aalen police urged people to "refrain from speculation" about the shootings in a message on Twitter.

Police and prosecutors said they would provide more details about the attack in a press conference in Rot am See later on Friday.

- Shootings rare -

While owning firearms is not illegal in Germany, most guns can be acquired only with a licence and they are closely monitored, making mass shootings comparatively rare.

In October last year, a far-right attacker shot two people dead in the eastern city Halle, wounding several more after failing to break into a packed synagogue armed with home-made weapons.

In July 2016, a teenager used a pistol bought illegally online to kill nine people in a Munich shopping centre, before turning the weapon on himself.

Germany has also been the target of a number of jihadist attacks in recent years, although most of the perpetrators did not use guns.

The most deadly took place in December 2016, when Tunisian Anis Amri drove an articulated truck into a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12 people.

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