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Bild: Hanover attackers tried to smuggle explosives into stadium

Tuesday's canceled football game in Hanover followed a warning that "numerous explosives" were due to explode inside the stadium, according to German newspaper Bild. Police still say no explosives have been found.

The mass-circulation daily "Bild" reported on Thursday that it had obtained a secret document from Germany's main inland security agency, indicating that a group had planned to used an ambulance to smuggle bombs into what would have been a packed stadium.

Shortly before the friendly between Germany and the Netherlands, German authorities

called off the match

and sent disappointed spectators home. No explosives were found during extensive searches in and around the stadium.

Quoting an official paper said to have come from the Bundesverfassungsschutz (officially "Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution" in English), Bild said that security services assumed the leading attacker planned to film the intended attack in the stadium.

Tip from foreign service

Shortly after midnight, a further attack was intended at Hanover's central rail station, Bild reported, adding that the original tip had come from an unnamed foreign intelligence service.

The city's "Hannoversche Allgemeinen Zeitung" newspaper said police had "concrete" pointers to numerous potential assailants, thought to be four men and a woman.

Since Tuesday evening, no incident-related arrests have been reported. On Wednesday evening, Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière told German public ZDF television: "We still don't know whether the tip was accurate."

De Maizière said the claim of responsibility for last

Friday's terror attacks in Paris

by "Islamic State" also included a threat of other attacks.

No confirmation on ambulance

Boris Pistorius, who is interior minister in Lower Saxony state, which has its regional capital in Hanover, told a press conference that claims that devices were to be smuggled into the stadium using an ambulance had not been confirmed.

One of the two interim presidents of Germany's DFB football association, Rainer Koch, said on Thursday he was confident that the coming weekend's Bundesliga

matches would go ahead.

Safety would, however, have "top priority," he said.

Reinhard Rauball und Rainer Koch

Tense weekend ahead for Rauball and Koch (R)

Koch told Bayern 2 public radio that clubs, football associations and

authorities were "best placed."

Currently, there were no concrete threats.

Seeking public spotlight?

The other DFB interim president Reinhard Rauball, who also chairs Borussia Dortmund, said soccer was not specifically the focus of terrorists but rather part of a terrorist strategy to grab the "highest level" of public attention.

"We must and will face the situation with the necessary seriousness, but should not allow the enjoyment of football to be taken away from us," said Rauball.

Until Tuesday evening, the German federation had decided to go ahead with the match in Hanover, which had been intended to be a show of solidarity with France for its loss of 129 lives on Friday.

Open society vulnerable

The deputy head of Germany's federated EKD Protestant churches, Annette Kurschus, on Thursday warned against a military reaction in the wake of the Paris attacks. More violence would only generate more violence, she said.

Retaining an open and free society, even if assailable and vulnerable, was preferable, despite IS threats, than a tightly-monitored society, Kurschus said.

ipj/msh (dpa, AFP, SID, epd)

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