Two people have been killed and several injured after a car drove into a pedestrian zone in the southwestern German city of Trier on Tuesday, police said, adding that the driver had been arrested.
"We have arrested one person and secured the car. According to initial information, two people are dead. Please continue to avoid the city centre," Trier police tweeted. A few minutes later, an updated tweet read: "Several dead and injured in Trier's inner city."
Police spokesman Uwe Konz told AFP that it remained unclear what exactly happened, saying "the background (to the incident) still needs to be clarified".
But Trier mayor Wolfram Leibe was quoted by regional broadcaster SWR as saying the driver had gone on "a rampage" that had caused at least two deaths and 15 injuries.
Shoppers were seen huddling outside stores festooned with Christmas decorations, while sirens could be heard in the distance.
According to Die Welt In an initial statement, police announced that the suspect was a 51-year-old German. It is based on a single perpetrator. The motivation of the perpetrator is still unknown. The Rheinpfalz police warned against spreading speculation. Police appealed for people to avoid the affected area.
The SWR (South-west Broadcasting) says in their 'ticker' updates that the perpetrator was a 51-year-old man from the district of Trier-Saarburg. He has been arrested and a video clip believed to be of his arrest is circulating on you tube.
The police are asking for no speculation, and advising that photographs and film should not be passed about, and it isn't unknown for individuals with a genuine health problem to rampage and murder, or for terrorists of another ideology to commit attacks, the Local makes reference to the jihadist attacks on Berlin through the Christmas market in 2016, and other islaimic motivated attacks in Germany. Trier's famous Christmas market is cancelled this year, but this attack took place through the pedestrian market place, while people were doing Christmas shopping.
As a breaking story a press conference is expected shortly.
The 51-year-old has yet to be questioned, said Karl-Peter Jochem, spokesman for the Trier Police Department.