Van crashes into crowd

MUENSTER, Germany – A German man drove a van into a group of people sitting outside a restaurant in the old city centre of Muenster in western Germany on Saturday, killing two of them before shooting himself dead, police and state officials said.

The vehicle ploughed into people seated at tables outside the Grosser Kiepenkerl eatery, a popular destination for tourists in the pretty university city.

Herbert Reul, interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, home to Muenster, told German television the suspect was a German citizen and there was “no indication of an Islamist background”.

Police spokesperson Andreas Bode earlier said: “At 15:27 (1327 GMT), a vehicle drove into the outside area of the restaurant … three people were killed, 20 injured, and six of those seriously injured. The perpetrator killed himself in the vehicle.”

Mr Reul said the three dead included the perpetrator.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported in its online edition that the perpetrator was Jens R., 48, who resided some 2 km (1.2 miles) from the crime scene.

Broadcaster ZDF said police were searching his apartment and that he had contact with far-right extremists, but there was no evidence thus far that he was a far-right extremist himself.

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