Two police officers have been shot dead in western Germany during a routine traffic stop.
At 04:20 local time (03:20 GMT) the officers stopped a vehicle in the Kusel district in Rhineland-Palatinate, a state on the French border.
A 29-year-old male officer and a 24-year-old female officer were shot dead at the scene. The latter was still a student at police academy.
Police have launched a manhunt for the perpetrators.
Roads in the area remain closed and authorities have urged people not to pick up hitchhikers, saying at least one suspect is armed. Officers have also expanded the hunt to the neighbouring state of Saarland.
Some details of the incident are unclear. As yet there is no description of the attackers, the vehicle, or the direction they fled, and police have not suggested a possible motive.
German newspaper Bild reports that the officers sent two radio messages from the road.
In the first, the officers reportedly said that they had stopped a suspicious vehicle and discovered dead game in the boot.
A second message followed soon after, the paper added. “They’re shooting at us!” the officers reportedly said, before radio contact broke off.
By the time reinforcements arrived the female officer was already dead, local media report. Her colleague died soon after.
Sabrina Kunz, state chairwoman of the police union, said their thoughts are with the relatives and colleagues of the dead.
“We are living through the true nightmare of all police officers,” she said, adding she was “stunned” by what had happened.