At least three people died when a vehicle ploughed into busy cafe and restaurant terraces in the German city of Muenster on Saturday. The driver shot himself dead after the incident.
Images on social media showed smashed and upturned tables and chairs strewn accross the pavement outside an eaterie in the centre of the picturesque medieval city. At least 20 people were injured, six of them seriously, according to police, while media reports said the driver had been behind the wheel of a delivery van.
A police spokeswoman in the western city, Vanessa Arlt, told AFP that the driver of the vehicle “shot himself”.
“The perpetrator drove into several cafe and restaurant terraces in a major square in the centre of Muenster,” Arlt added.
Police spokesman, Andreas Bode, said it was “too soon” to call the incident a deliberate attack.
According to the online edition of the Spiegel magazine, German authorities were “assuming” the incident was an attack, though there was no immediate official confirmation of a motive.
“Terrible news from Muenster,” German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said in a tweet, saying local police were providing regular updates.
“Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones.”
Images broadcast by German television showed police and firefighting vehicles clustered around a street in the centre of the city of 300,000 people.
Armed police were deployed and officers urged residents to avoid the city centre to allow investigators to get to work.