Police say two officers have been shot dead while on a routine patrol in western Germany

BERLIN — Two police officers were shot dead on a rural road in western Germany while on a routine patrol early Monday, police said.

The shooting happened during a traffic check near Kusel at about 4:20 a.m., police in Kaiserslautern said in a statement. They were able to radio that shots were being fired, spokesman Bernhard Christian Erfort told n-tv television.

Reinforcements were unable to help the officers — a 24-year-old woman and 29-year-old man — when they arrived.

Erfort said he didn’t know whether the officers had seen something particular about the assailants’ vehicle that they wanted to check or whether it was just a routine check.

The perpetrators fled but police had no description of them, the car they used or what direction they fled in. A manhunt was extended to the neighboring German state of Saarland, police said.

They called on drivers in the Kusel area not to pick up hitchhikers and warned that at least one suspect is armed.

The younger officer killed in Monday’s incident was still studying at a police academy, the GdP police union said.

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