Police are hunting a gunman after two people were shot dead in Germany on Thursday.

The suspect is believed to be armed and on the run, but police played down initial reports of a shooting spree. According to unconfirmed reports, they now suspect the killings were a crime of jealousy.

The incident took place in Espelkamp, a small town of some 25,000 people in the western region of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The dead are understood to be a man and a woman. One shooting took place inside a house, the other on the street just outside it.

Armed police were deployed to the town from neighbouring areas