A “serious risk of bombing” has forced the evacuation of the stadium in Hanover, Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel and several key ministers were to be present to honor the memory of victims of the attacks in Paris.
“We had serious indications that a bomb attack was planned tonight at the stadium,” said the public channel ARD, Volker Kluwe, police official Hanover.
The evacuation was declared as the party was to begin 90 minutes later. The stadium in Hanover, a town 280 km west of Berlin can accommodate up to 45,000 people. Among the spectators, the Chancellor was expected German Angela Markel and some of his ministers. “Our message is clear: we will not let ourselves off the way we live. We must not give the victory to the terrorists that would be the cancellation of the match “, said Monday the Minister of Justice Heiko Maas.
Security requirements have, however, decided otherwise. AFP reports that a suspicious package was found near the stadium while the AP mentions a bomb threat. Police Chief Hanover Volker Kluwe, told a local radio station, NDR, that the evacuation was ordered because of “serious plans to blow up something.”
Players who went to the stadium were “diverted to a safe place,” said social media spokesman of the German soccer team, Jens Grittner.
Before the Germany-Netherlands match, the organizers had planned to honor the memory of victims of the attacks in Paris. Recall that suicide bombers blew themselves up near the Stade de France where they attended such a friendly game Friday night between Germany and France. At least one suicide bomber tried to get inside the amphitheater, but had been repressed. He detonated outside two other suicide bombers. Other attackers in Paris were also several attacks, killing 129 people and injuring 352 others.
This is not the only soccer game compromised by the enhancement of security measures in Europe. The clash between Belgium and Spain, which would also take place Tuesday evening in Brussels was also canceled for security reasons. Some information appears to indicate that the main suspect to following the Paris bombings took refuge in Belgium. The alleged mastermind of the attacks would also native to the area of the Belgian capital, where he led an Islamist cell.
This removal also comes as German police said they arrested five people in Aachen, near the Belgian border, after receiving a report of the main fugitive wanted in connection with the investigation into the attacks in Paris. Salah Abdelslam however would not have been intercepted, according to a report from the German weekly Der Spiegel.
This police operation was triggered after a report of people who thought they had seen in an employment center Salah Abdeslam, actively sought as part of the investigation into the attacks in Paris. Two women and a man were first arrested in a first police strike. Police then arrested two more people.