Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Two people dead after attack in western Germany

German police Car crashes into crowd deaths reported Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Glenn Montgomery | 09 April, 2018, 01:18

German police say they are checking witness reports that other perpetrators may have fled from a van that crashed into a crowd in Muenster, killing three people and injuring 20 before its driver shot himself to death.

"There were isolated indications that those arrested, aged between 18 and 21 years, were participating in the preparation of a crime in connection with this event", prosecutors and police wrote in a joint statement. Their names were not released, as is customary in Germany.

The 48-year-old German man, believed to be the sole perpetrator in Saturday's attack, has been identified as Jens R, who was reportedly an industrial designer.

The attacker had vaguely announced his suicide plans a week ago in an email to friends, it is claimed, but police would not confirm this.

It also adds that "an unusable AK-47 rifle" and fireworks had been found during the search operation at the perpetrator's house, while another batch of detonators and a gun were found in the van that was used in the attack.

Muenster's Roman Catholic bishop is urging mourners to try to understand - with the help of God - the frightful van crash that killed two people and injured 20 others.

Officials said some of the 20 people injured were still in a life-threatening condition. They said there was no sign of a political motive for the attack.

Armed Police officers are seen at the scene when several people were killed and injured when a vehicle ploughed into pedestrians in Muenster, western Germany on April 7, 2018.

"Everything possible is now being done to clarify the facts and to support the victims and their relatives", she said.

Armin Laschet, the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia state where Muenster is located, toured the city Sunday.

Bishop Felix Genn preached Sunday night at the city's famous Paulus Cathedral, where the 700 seats were packed.

Police say they're still examining what kind of an object it is and whether it's risky.

Muenster is a popular tourist destination known for its medieval old town, which was rebuilt after massive destruction during World War II.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Sunday that the government would do everything possible to protect citizens, but added: "We have again experienced that. absolute security is unfortunately not possible".

Armed police cordoned off a wide area around the scene of the attack, urging residents to avoid the city centre to allow investigators to get to work amid initial fears the country had suffered another extremist assault.

Grieshaber reported from Berlin.

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