Muenster auto ramming suspect acted alone, terrorism ruled out - interior minister

Police are focusing on his apparent mental health problems as they investigate the incident. Police quickly evacuated the area and ambulances, firefighters and helicopters rushed to the scene to aid those who were injured.

News website Spiegel Online reported that Jens R. lived in Muenster and police had found an assault weapon at his flat.

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

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is "deeply shocked by the awful events in Muenster".

"Everything possible is now being done to clarify the facts and to support the victims and their relatives", she said. "My thanks go to all the responders at the scene".

A German police spokesman says three people were killed and 20 injured when a van crashed into a crowd in front of a popular bar in downtown Muenster. Reuters relays word from German newspaper Die Walt, which writes that authorities detained four men with knives under suspicion that they planned to cause mayhem and death within the crowd of race spectators and competitors.

Andreas Bode told reporters the driver of the van shot himself dead inside the vehicle after the crash Saturday afternoon.

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Bode said six of the 20 injured were in severe condition. The city was buzzing on one of the first warm spring days of the year and people were sitting outside the Kiepenkerl when he drove into the bar's tables with such a vengeance that the vehicle only came to a stop when it hit the wall of the pub.

The incident happened at around 3.30pm local time (4.30pm GMT) on Saturday afternoon.

German police said Sunday that they have no reason to believe the man who rammed his van into a crowd in Muenster, Germany, Saturday had any accomplices.

Witnesses said people ran away screaming from the city square after the crash. After a foreign intelligence service tipped off German authorities that he was planning to attack the half-marathon, police raided apartments and two vehicles in the Charlottenburg and Neukoelln districts of the city.

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

German police confirmed some arrests in Berlin on Sunday.

  • Myrtle Hill