German police say rock festival evacuated over ‘terror threat’
search

German police say rock festival evacuated over ‘terror threat’

Organizers of event near Nuerburg ask fans to leave calmly ‘to help police investigations,’ but hope festival will resume on Saturday

Festival goers leave the venue of the Rock am Ring music festival in June 2, 2017 in Nuerburg following an evacuation alert amid a possible 'terrorist threat' (AFP PHOTO / dpa / Thomas Frey)
Festival goers leave the venue of the Rock am Ring music festival in June 2, 2017 in Nuerburg following an evacuation alert amid a possible 'terrorist threat' (AFP PHOTO / dpa / Thomas Frey)

BERLIN — One of Germany’s biggest music festivals was interrupted Friday over a “possible terrorist threat,” police said.

Organizers asked fans at the three-day event to leave calmly “in order to help police investigations” but said they were hopeful the festival would resume on Saturday.

The three-day “Rock am Ring,” held at the famous Nuerburgring sports complex near the western city of Nuerburg, is scheduled to run until Sunday. It draws tens of thousands of people annually.

In a statement, police in the city of Coblenz said they were in possession of “concrete elements, in the light of which a possible terrorist threat cannot be ruled out.”

“As safety is the key priority and any danger to festival-goers has to be avoided as much as possible, a decision has been taken to suspend the festival for today,” the statement said. There were no further details.

Security for the festival had already been stepped up, with an additional 1,200 staff, in response to the May 22 Manchester bombing which occurred after a concert by US singer Ariana Grande.

Last year’s Rock am Ring program was curtailed by violent storms in which dozens of people were injured by lightning.

The country remains on high alert after a jihadist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin on December 19.

Anis Amri, a 24-year-old Tunisian, hijacked a truck, killed its Polish driver and plowed the vehicle through the market, claiming 11 more lives and wounding dozens.

On Tuesday German police arrested a 17-year-old asylum-seeker on suspicion that he was planning a suicide attack in the capital.

Police in the state of Brandenburg said the teenager was detained Tuesday in the village of Gerswalde, 100 kilometers (60 miles) northeast of Berlin, after they learned he had sent a farewell message to family members and told them that “he had joined the jihad,” or holy war.

The state Interior Ministry’s office identified the suspect as Syrian, but Herbst said investigators were checking to see whether he falsely registered as a Syrian but was actually from a North African country.

read more:
comments