Police close German shopping centre over potential terror threat

Germany is still on alert following a terror attack on a Christmas market last December

Police ordered a shopping mall in the western German city of Essen not to open Saturday after receiving credible tips of an imminent attack.

In a statement, a North Rhine Westphalia Police spokesman said: "The current state of our investigations points to the threat being exclusively at the shopping centre".

"Yesterday, we received very serious indications from security sources that a possible attack was planned here for today and would be carried out", a spokesman for Essen police told Reuters Television. Police officers and vans surrounded the mall - one of the biggest in Germany - Saturday afternoon, Reuters reported.

Armed police and vans surrounded the shopping center, which is one of Germany's largest with nearly 200 stores. "The police has concrete information regarding a possible attack".




Last July, a German-Iranian man, who police say was obsessed with mass murderers, shot dead nine people at a Munich shopping mall before turning the gun on himself.

Essen police said they were questioning a man and had searched his apartment in nearby Oberhausen.

The spokesman added: "In order to avoid possible danger to visitors, they will not be able to enter the shopping halls or the vehicle park".

Twelve people were killed and 48 others injured in December after a tractor-trailer plowed through a busy outdoor Christmas market in Berlin.

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