November 19, 2015 / 9:20 AM / 3 years ago

Attackers planned multiple explosions in German stadium: Bild

BERLIN (Reuters) - A group of several attackers planned to set off multiple explosives in Hanover soccer stadium at Tuesday night’s friendly match between Germany and the Netherlands, which was called off, daily Bild reported on Thursday.

Football Soccer - Germany vs Netherlands - International Friendly - HDI Arena, Hanover, Germany - 17/11/15. Supporters leave the stadium after the match was called off by police due to security reason. REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen

Bild said it had obtained a copy of a document that Germany’s domestic intelligence service provided to Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Tuesday, the contents of which were so shocking the authorities had no choice but to call off the match.

Based on intelligence from a foreign intelligence service, the document detailed how a group of several attackers planned to set off several explosives in the stadium in Hanover, as well as a bomb in the city center.

The attackers planned to smuggle the explosives into the stadium in an ambulance, Bild cited the document as saying. The group’s leader was to film the attack in the stadium. After midnight, another attack was planned at Hanover railway station.

In the event, the authorities said they found no explosives at the stadium.

The premier of the state of Lower Saxony said on Wednesday that German officials had concrete indications of a security threat that led them to call off the soccer game between Germany and the Netherlands.

Chancellor Angela Merkel had been due to attend the match.

There was no immediate comment from the Interior Ministry on the details of the Bild report.

But Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told a news conference: “The indications were so concentrated that calling off the match was unavoidable. Whether the indications were a real threat, or just an indication, we don’t know.”

Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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