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Munich Stations Reopen As Police Hunt for 'Terror Plot' Suspects

  • RFE/RL

German police secure the main train station in Munich on January 1.

German police secure the main train station in Munich on January 1.

Munich train stations reopened and police lifted an alert of an imminent terrorist attack in the southern German city on January 1, but authorities say the situation remains "serious."

Munich's main rail station and another station in the west of the city were closed on New Year's Eve over a "serious, imminent threat" of a suicide attack linked to the Islamist State (IS) extremist group, police said.

In a security update on January 1, Munich police said that "following investigations, there is currently no concrete risk of an attack" in the city.

Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told reporters that a "friendly foreign intelligence service" had warned Germany of an imminent attack at midnight by between five and seven IS militants from Syria and Iraq planning to blow themselves up at locations in Munich, including the two stations.

He said authorities are investigating intensively, but so far had not made any arrests.

Authorities said they had received personal data, including the names of some of the militants and were still in the process of investigating and verifying the information.

Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae said police have been unable to find the suspects.

"At this point we don't know if these names are correct, if these people even exist, or where they might be," Andrae said on January 1.

Andrae refuted speculation that the threat was a false alarm, saying that "if there is such information, we have to act."

Munich's main station and the surrounding area were evacuated just 90 minutes before the city was to ring in the New Year.

The station was cordoned off and heavily armed police blocked the entrances. Partygoers were asked to avoid crowds.

More than 500 police and special unit officers were called to Munich late on December 31 to help evacuate and secure the stations.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the situation in Germany and Europe "continues to be serious in the new year."

With reporting by AFP, AP, and dpa
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