Germany releases brothers suspected of mall attack plot
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Germany releases brothers suspected of mall attack plot

Two men originally from Kosovo arrested in wake of attack on Berlin Christmas market

A policeman walks at the Christmas market near the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the day after a terror attack, in central Berlin, on December 20, 2016. (AFP Photo/Tobias Schwarz)
A policeman walks at the Christmas market near the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the day after a terror attack, in central Berlin, on December 20, 2016. (AFP Photo/Tobias Schwarz)

German police said Saturday they had released two brothers suspected of planning an attack on one of the country’s biggest shopping centers, citing a lack of evidence.

The two men, aged 28 and 31 and originally from Kosovo, were arrested on Friday as Germany was on high alert following a jihadist attack on a Berlin Christmas market earlier in the week.

But police in the western city of Essen said in a statement that “despite careful investigation” the allegations against the pair could not be substantiated.

Police had acted on a tip-off from intelligence services that claimed the duo was planning to target the CentrO mall in the nearby city of Oberhausen.

“After it was established today that there were no relevant criminal findings against the two persons and there was no concrete danger, they were released from police custody this afternoon,” the statement said.

The arrest of the brothers made headlines around the world, coming just four days after 12 people were killed and dozens injured when an attacker drove a truck into a crowded Berlin Christmas market.

The main suspect in that attack, Tunisian Anis Amri, was killed in a shoot-out with police in Italy on Friday.

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