German police try to work out motive for Muenster attack

09 April, 2018, 01:33 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • German news agency dpa says several people were killed after car crashes into crowd in city of Muenster

Police searched four properties that were linked to the suspect and said that they found "no clues" that suggested a political motive.

The authorities identified the two fatal victims of Saturday's crash as a 51-year-old woman from Lueneburg County of and a 65-year-old man from Broken County.

Several of the more than 20 victims injured in Saturday's van attack in the western German city of Muenster remained in critical condition, a local police spokeswoman.

Amri's attack in Berlin in 2016 prompted German lawmakers to call for tougher security measures.

According to the German authorities, this incident can not be considered a terrorist attack.

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

But in the Saturday afternoon attack, inflicted as locals and tourists enjoyed a sunny spring day, there was "no indication at the moment that there is any Islamist connection", said North Rhine-Westphalia state interior minister Herbert Reul.

"With dismay, I learned of the awful incident in Muenster", Seehofer said in a statement Saturday, adding, "Police in Muenster and throughout (the state of North Rhine-Westphalia) are now working hard to investigate the matter".

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The premier of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, was also present, and said that Saturday had been "a terrible, tragic day for the people of Münster".

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

Armed cops swooped on the scene just after 3pm local time and warned people to stay away from "inner city areas". The law enforcement agencies added: "The investigations are being conducted at full speed and in all directions".

In a joint statement with police, prosecutor Martin Botzenhardt wrote Sunday that, "as of now, we don't have any leads regarding a possible background for the deed".

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

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The motivation of the attack remained unclear so far, while some German media reported that the perpetrator could be psychologically disordered.

In the van, the authorities managed to find only the driver's weapon "a gun and big fireworks, whose powder can be used to make an explosive".

Firefighters of the city of Muenster clean the area in front of the traditional Grosser Kiepenkerl guesthouse where a man drove a van into a group of people sitting outside its restaurant in the old city centre of Muenster, Germany on April 8.

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