2 dead as van rams crowd in Germany

09 April, 2018, 01:16 | Author: Jason Torres
  • German news agency dpa says several people were killed after a car crashes into the crowd in city of Muenster

The driver committed suicide inside the van, police said. Police quickly set up a large cordoned-off area for their investigation and ambulances rushed to the site.

Reul said the three dead included the perpetrator. Six of the 20 injured were in critical condition.

Prosecutors said he had expressed suicidal plans by email to a neighbor. It didn't say why.

One day after a van killed multiple pedestrians in Muenster, German police appear to have thwarted a series of planned knife attacks on Sunday's Berlin half-marathon race.

"So far, we have not found any evidence of political motivation behind this attack", chief prosecutor Elke Adomeit told reporters on Sunday.

The prosecutor said Jens B. had run-ins with the law relating to violent conduct, property damage and fraud, but all charges had been dismissed.

The incident happened shortly before 3:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. ET) in the Kiepenkerl area of the city center.

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Muenster, with about 300,000 people, is home to numerous universities and has a student population of about 58,000, the city government says.

German officials lay flowers at a fountain in Muenster after the attack.

. They have not identified them, but Armin Laschet, the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia state said they included Dutch citizens. He says, "this was a awful and sad day for the people of Muenster, all of Germany. and also the people of The Netherlands, who were sitting here and became victims". Two people were killed in the crash and the van driver took his own life. The German news agency dpa reports that police confirmed arrests in connection with the half-marathon but did not elaborate.

The van hit a crowd of people outside the popular bar Kiepenkerl.

Meanwhile, investigators are still trying to establish the motive for the ramming.

Those killed have been identified as a 51-year-old woman from Lueneburg county, around 180 miles to the northeast, and a 65-year-old man from nearby Borken county. Their names were not released, as is customary in Germany.

Authorities believe the 48-year-old German perpetrator of the Muenster attack, who shot himself dead, had mental health problems and was not politically motivated.

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.

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