Münster terror: killer driver hits crowd in Germany's city of peace

Münster terror: killer driver hits crowd in Germany's city of peace

Münster terror: killer driver hits crowd in Germany's city of peace

Herbert Reul, interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, home to Muenster, told German television the suspect was a German citizen and there was "no indication of an Islamist background".

Police and prosecutors said because of the Muenster attack, they made a decision to mount raids on the suspects who are aged between 18 and 21.

Two people were killed when the driver mowed down dozens before killing himself.

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Reul said the three dead included the perpetrator.

Armin Laschet, the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia state where Muenster is located, toured the city Sunday. They say the driver of the van killed himself after running into a crowd in front of a popular bar in the western city.

The man had in his possession two knives which had been especially sharpened for this objective, the report said.

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

Police investigators were still trying to learn the man's motive. "That is our current task", Bode said.

Martin Wiech, who said he had studied in Muenster, told Der Spiegel he had driven there to go shopping and was now unable to return to his auto.

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"It's still unbelievable for me, but these days anything can happen", said Hubert Reckermann, a local man in his late 60s on Sunday.

Witnesses said people ran away screaming from the city square after the crash.

"This was a terrible 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", he said.

In December 2016, a truck plowed into crowds at a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people.

The attack occurred on the one-year anniversary of a similar attack in Stockholm, Sweden, during which five people were killed when a stolen beer truck struck pedestrians.

Merkel said she was "deeply shaken" by the incident and pledged that "everything possible will be done to determine what was behind this act and to help the victims".

The White House issued a statement following the incident saying US President Donald Trump's "thoughts and prayers" were with the families of those killed.

The presidents of Russian Federation and France, Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron, as well as Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sent their condolences. In the months prior to the Berlin assault, Germany suffered a number of small-scale Islamist militant attacks, which some linked to Merkel's decision in 2015 to open the country's borders to an influx of migrants, many of them refugees from conflicts in the Middle East. German police have detained four men, one of whom they suspect of planning knife attacks at today's Berlin half-marathon, the newspaper Die Welt reported in its online edition.

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