Germany-Netherlands Match in Hannover Evacuated After Credible Bomb Threat

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Authorities have evacuated HDI Arena in Hannover, Germany, where a game between the German and Netherlands soccer teams was scheduled to take place on Tuesday night, just days after a devastating series of bombings and a gun massacre killed 129 in Paris on Nov. 13.

Deutsche Welle reports the local chief of police says law enforcement had learned of a "device intended to be detonated inside the stadium."

The match has officially been canceled. 

However, German Federal Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizière has since confirmed in a press conference no explosives were found at the event, while the Guardian reports Lower Saxony interior minister Boris Pistorius said he had no indication reports of an ambulance loaded with a bomb in local paper Kreiszeitung were true.

BBC's Katya Adler and Sky's Jon Haworth reported de Maizière said the decision to cancel the match was difficult, but necessary, adding foreign intelligence had alerted authorities to the possible threat.

Photos showed police and other security personnel screening the stadium, as well as evacuating sports fans and securing various areas of the facility. Authorities had already provided the arena with enhanced security following the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris which killed 129 people and wounded over 350 others. The Islamic State group has since taken responsibility for that attack.

According to the Associated Press, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other high-ranking government officials were planning on attending the match to demonstrate they are not intimidated by terrorism. 

Photos also showed German bomb squad members responding to a suspicious package in a local train station.

The arena had reportedly been planning on displaying a gigantic Eiffel Tower and French and German flags arranged in the stadium's seating as an expression of solidarity with the victims in Paris.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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