Officials say no explosives have been found at a soccer stadium in Hannover, Germany, despite a report from a German newspaper that a truck bomb disguised as an ambulance was located at the arena.
Lower-Saxony Interior Minister Boris Pistorius, said no explosives have been found at the stadium, HDI Arena. Pistorius, speaking at a press conference, also said no arrests have been made. The stadium was evacuated before Germany’s game against the Netherlands after several credible tips about a possible bombing were reported to German authorities just days after the Paris attacks were carried out by ISIS terrorists.
The newspaper Kreiszeitung reported a truck disguised as a rescue vehicle was found which led to the evacuation of the HD Arena and the cancellation of the game.
Police said they had a “concrete threat” that there was a planned explosion at the arena in northern Germany.
The German soccer team was playing against France when the terror attacks occurred on November 13.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Cancellation Came About 90 Minutes Before Kickoff
An announcement was made at the Hannover stadium about 90 minutes before the friendly match was set to be played, asking all in attendance to leave the arena. Fans were told to leave “quickly,” but without panic and go home.
The announcement said, “Please go in small groups back home, it’s better this way.”
The game was set to start at 8:45 p.m. local time. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other cabinet ministers were set to attend the game.
According to the Associated Press, Hannover police chief Volker Kluwe said on TV, “We had concrete evidence that someone wanted to set off an explosive device in the stadium.”
An earlier threat had turned out to be a false alarm, police said.
“After the first object turned out to be harmless, we got a tip that had to be taken seriously that an attack was being planned,” Kluwe said.
Heavily armed police were seen outside the stadium and were searching vehicles as they left the area.
There was already tight security at the stadium, the Associated Press reports. Bags were being searched and police bomb sniffing dogs were on hand.
2. Another Arena Was Also Evacuated Before a Concert & a Train Station Was Shut Down
TUI Arena in Hannover has also been evacuated, the Associated Press reports. Attendees at the arena were waiting for the band Soehne Mannheims to play, the AP reports.
A train station was shut down after a suspicious device was found, RT reports.
3. Suicide Bombers Detonated Explosives Outside of the National Soccer Stadium During the Paris Attacks
During the attacks in France on November 13, three suicide bombers detonated explosives outside of Stade de Francis, just north of Paris. One other person, who was waiting to enter the stadium, was killed in the explosions.
According to the Wall Street Journal, one of the bombers attempted to enter the stadium, where France was playing against Germany during a game attended by French President Hollande, but was stopped at a security checkpoint. He then detonated his bomb, and the two other attackers soon followed suit.
The game continued, and after the area was determined to be clear fans were let out of the stadium. Hollande was evacuated after gunmen attacked multiple other locations in Paris.
4. A Soccer Game Between Belgium and France Was Also Cancelled
On Monday, a game scheduled to be played Tuesday in Brussels between the Belgium and Spain was also cancelled over security concerns, the BBC reported.
“Taking into account the exceptional circumstances, we cannot take any security risk to our players and fans,” the Belgian Football Association said in a statement, adding it deeply regrets the late decision to cancel the match and understood the disappointment of supporters.
At least three of the Paris attackers were living in Brussels before the attacks occurred, and the planner of the attacks also is from Belgium.
International matches are being played around Europe, including qualifying matches for the 2016 European Championships in Denmark and Slovenia. France is set to host the European tournament in June 2016.
5. A Match Between France and England in London Is Being Played as Scheduled
The French national team’s game against England at Wembley Stadium in London went on as scheduled on Tuesday.
One of the French players, Lassana Diarra, lost his cousin in the November 13 attacks in Paris. Asta Diakité, who Diarra said was like a big sister to him, died while Diarra was playing against Germany. The sister of his teammate, Antoine Griezmann, escaped unhurt from the Bataclan theater, where 89 people were killed while watching the American rock band Eagles of Death Metal. Terrorists killed 129 people in the attacks.
A moment of silence was held before the game and a moving rendition of the French national anthem was played. Watch that moment at the link below: