The bloody shooting in Bavaria's capital has propelled the German government into crisis mode. Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to consult with her key ministers on how to respond to the mass shooting.
The Chancellery announced that it would convene the Federal Security Cabinet early Saturday as it prepared to step up security following the second attack in southern Germany in a week.
Friday's rampage saw an 18-year-old shoot dead nine people near a Munich shopping mall before killing himself. More than a dozen others were wounded. It followed a separate ax and knife attack on a train near Würzburg Monday that left five people injured.
Chaired by Chancellor Angela Merkel, Saturday's emergency meeting will be attended by Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and the head of the chancellery, Peter Altmaier.
Altmaier, who is one of Merkel's most trusted advisors, told reporters that the aim of the meeting was to gather all the available information and work out the government's response.
"We are determined to do everything so that terrorist and inhuman violence stands no chance in Germany," the Christian Democrat said.
De Maiziere cancels holiday
De Maiziere cut short his holiday in the United States and is returning to Germany, having been in midflight as Friday's attack unfolded.
"What happened in Munich is horrible and totally unbelievable," the interior minister said. "We mourn the victims and our thoughts are with their families.
De Maiziere was scheduled to hold separate talks with representatives from the Federal Criminal Police Office, other police departments, intelligence agencies and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution before reporting to the Federal Security Cabinet.
He ordered flags on federal buildings to be lowered to half-staff in mourning for the victims, and said he planned to visit Munich himself to get a clearer picture of what happened.
The Bavarian state cabinet is also expected to hold an emergency meeting Saturday. State Premier Horst Seehofer said he was "deeply shocked" by the mass shootings, describing the killings as a "brutal and inhuman act" that filled everyone "with sadness and horror."
mm/rc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)