2 Killed, 20 Hurt When Vehicle Rams Crowd in Germany
Incident happened near popular pub in Muenster
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 7, 2018 10:48 AM CDT
Updated Apr 7, 2018 3:12 PM CDT
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Ambulances stand in downtown Muenster, Germany, Saturday, April 7, 2018. German news agency dpa says several people killed after car crashes into crowd in city of Muenster.   (dpa via AP)
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(Newser)

A van crashed into tables of people drinking outside a popular bar Saturday in the German city of Muenster, killing two people and injuring 20 others before the driver of the vehicle killed himself, police said. A German security official said there was no indication of an Islamic extremist motive but officials were investigating all possibilities in the crash, the AP reports. Herbert Reul, the interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia state, said the driver of the van was a German citizen. He stressed that the investigation was at an early stage but said "at the moment, nothing speaks for there being any Islamist background." "We have to wait, and we are investigating in all directions," Reul said, adding, "(He) willfully drove into a crowd of people." Reul said two people were killed in the crash and the driver shot himself dead. That's lower than the earlier police toll of three dead plus the driver.

Police spokesperson Peter Nuessmeyer says he couldn't confirm media reports that the perpetrator reportedly had psychological issues. Another spokesperson, Andreas Bode, told reporters that police were checking witness reports that other perpetrators might have fled from the van at the scene. Hours later, police spokesperson Vanessa Arlt said that "we didn't find anything (to those reports) but we're still investigating in all directions and not excluding anything." Police also said they found a suspicious object in the van that they were examining to see if it was dangerous. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said the suspect's apartment was being searched Saturday night for possible explosives. Bode said six of the 20 injured were in severe condition. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was "deeply shocked by the terrible events in Muenster."

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