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Manhunt begins after bank raid shoot-out

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Manhunt begins after bank raid shoot-out
The crime scene in Magdeburg. DPA/Jan Helmecke
11:56 CET+01:00
An explosion and gunfire shattered the silence in the normally sleepy eastern German city of Magdeburg on in the early hours of Friday morning, as police became embroiled in a shoot-out with bank robbers.

The robbers set off an explosive at 3am outside a branch of the Sparkasse bank in an attempt to break into a cash machine. But they were interrupted by officers, a police spokesman said.

Unwilling to come out quietly, the criminals opened fire without warning, the spokesman added.

A gunfight ensued, and though no police officers were injured, the robbers were able to make their escape in a dark-coloured car, taking the Bundesstraße 1.

Though the officers took off in pursuit, they lost the car in the darkness. A helicopter with a thermal imaging device also failed to track down the robbers, and investigators do not know the car’s make or model.

A nationwide manhunt is now under way, with police making a call for witnesses who may have seen the car fleeing on a motorway in the early hours, to come forward.

The bank was severely damaged by the explosion, and it remains unclear whether the bank robbers managed to escape with any loot.

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