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Germany

Suspect package in Namibia was a 'dummy,' says interior minister

The suspicious package found at a Namibian airport en route to Munich was a "dummy," according to the German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere. Investigations have begun to find out who bought and planted the case.

Two armed policemen in an airport

Police presence has been stepped up at transport hubs

A suspected bomb intercepted in Namibia that was to be put on a Munich-bound plane was only "a dummy" used to test security checks, the German interior minister said Friday.

Thomas de Maiziere said it was a "so-called real test suitcase" made by a company in the United States that makes alarm and detection systems.

"These real test suitcases are built to test security measures," de Maiziere said.

At no time would the device have presented a danger to the passengers on the Air Berlin flight to Munich, he added.

German security experts are in the process of working out who the suitcase had been sold to and when.

Heightened security level

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere

De Maiziere said there was "no danger to passengers" of the Air Berlin flight

Germany has been on alert since Wednesday's announcement that a terrorist attack was being planned for the country. This was before the suspect package was found at Windhoek airport in Namibia.

On Friday, authorities said Germany was likely to remain on heightened alert for the rest of the year.

Police chief Matthias Seeger was quoted in the daily Bild newspaper as saying the danger of attack is greater than ever before.

"On a scale of one - no danger - to 10 - acute danger of attack - we are currently at 9," Seeger said.

However, authorities have been quick to reassure the public that there is no cause for panic.

Security at airports and railway stations has been tightened and experts have warned that traditional Christmas markets across the country could be targeted.

Author: Catherine Bolsover (dpa, AP, AFP)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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