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German police evacuate Chemnitz shopping center after threat

A shopping center in the eastern German city of Chemnitz has reopened after a threat forced it to be evacuated. Police searched the premises for several hours, but found nothing suspicious.

Police in the eastern city of Chemnitz gave the all-clear late on Friday after evacuating a shopping center in the middle of Chemnitz following the threat of a "crime," as Germany remains on the alert in the wake of a terror attack in Berlin almost two weeks ago.

Some 4,000 people were asked to leave the complex late on Friday afternoon after an initially vague threat became more concrete. Police then searched the center for some five hours before concluding that there was no danger.

Earlier, police and the management of the center received "several pieces of information at intervals and independently of each other," Chemnitz police headquarters said. The information suggested a connection with a bomb threat on Thursday made against another shopping center in the city, it said.

Germany remains watchful for any signs of terrorist activity following the attack in Berlin and other violent acts in the course of the year that have been claimed by the Islamist extremist group "Islamic State."

Security presence has been additionally stepped up across the country for New Year's Eve, partly in a bid to prevent a repetition of the events in Cologne on December 31 last year, when police received around a thousand complaints of petty theft and sexual harassment. 

tj/rc (AFP)

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