Munich stations reopen after fears of suicide attack

Two Munich train stations reopened early Friday after they were closed on New Year's Eve over "concrete" intelligence about a threat of an imminent suicide attack linked to the Islamist State extremist movement, police said.

Trains were again using Munich's main station as well as another in the district of Pasing, a police spokeswoman said. Officials would carry out spot checks on individuals, she added.

The stations had been evacuated due to the possibility of an attack.

"We have concrete tips, which we can't sweep under the rug," a spokeswoman said shortly before midnight Thursday, as evacuations were under way at the two stations.

Citing information received from an allied intelligence service, Bavarian state Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the threat was linked to the Islamic State organization.

"Our general approach is that we do not let terrorists dictate how we live our lives," Herrmann said early Friday.

The decisive tips that motivated police to protect the rail stations came from French authorities, according to dpa sources.

Attackers linked to the Islamic State organization were blamed in deadly attacks in November in Paris.

"In response to credible reports, Munich police believe that there is a threat of a terrorist attack in the Munich area. According to available information, which we have judged to be credible, an attack is intended to be carried out tonight," police had said on Facebook as the alert was unfolding.

The Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that six suspects were the target of investigations by police.

Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae said the threat was of a suicide attack.

Concerns were easing early Friday, after the crisis had peaked shortly before midnight, he said.

Some 550 police were mobilized in the Bavarian capital.

Overnight, no trains were allowed to approach the two targeted train stations, police said on Twitter.

Munich's main station and the surrounding area was evacuated. The station was cordoned off and heavily armed police blocked the entrances.

Subway and commuter trains continued running overnight in Munich except at the two stations, where both local and passenger rail connections were halted.

Due to the late hour into early Friday, few travellers were immediately affected by the hours-long station closures.

In Berlin several hundred thousand people gathered near the Brandenburg Gate to see in the New Year.

Security officials in Berlin did not have any concrete hints of planned attacks, a spokesman said.

Last update: Sat, 02/01/2016 - 08:00
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