Update: City halls across Germany evacuated after receiving bomb threats

Several city halls in Germany were evacuated on Tuesday over emails threatening bomb attacks, police said.

Update: City halls across Germany evacuated after receiving bomb threats
Police blocked off the town hall square in Augsburg after a bomb threat. Photo: DPA

Augsburg, Kaiserslautern, Chemnitz, Göttingen, Neunkirchen and Rendsburg were affected, reported Focus Online. The sender of the threats remains unidentified.

The city hall in Augsburg, Bavaria, was evacuated and closed on Tuesday morning. The town hall square was also cordoned off, reported the Augsburger Allgemeine. Around 500 employees were sent home, the newspaper said.

According to police reports, a bomb threat had been received by mail that night. From about 8am to shortly after midday a large-scale operation was in progress.

There was also disruption to public transport due to the incident.

After the search was completed police said no suspicious objects were found. However, Augsburg's Mayor Kurt Gribl said it was right to evacuate and close off the area.

“The contents of the mail had to be taken seriously,” said Gribl in a statement.

The town hall in Göttingen, Lower Saxony was also evacuated and cordoned off early on Tuesday morning. According to the police, a bomb threat was received, reported the Göttinger Tageblatt. Special forces were on site and residents were urged to avoid the area.

Police also tweeted about the incident and said public transport in the area would also be diverted.

A similar report came to light in the Saxon city of Chemnitz. Police were investigating the town hall, reported Radio Chemnitz. That building was also cordoned off.

In Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate, threatening mail was also received, a police spokesman said this morning, reported Stern.Task forces were also on site with sniffer dogs. The area around the town hall had been cordoned off. However, there is currently no concrete threat, the spokesman said. The measures were being carried out as a precaution.

 “Around 1:30am, threatening mail arrived at the town hall during the night, a police spokesman in Kaiserslautern told Focus Online. “It was discovered by an employee at about 8 am.”

Threats were also reported in other German cities.

Saarländischer Rundfunk said sniffer dogs were being used at the town hall in Neunkirchen It was thought to be in connection with a threatening email.

in Rendsburg, Schleswig-Holstein, a police spokesman told Focus that an e-mail with a bomb threat had arrived at the town hall during the night. The building was evacuated in the early hours of the morning, and employees were denied access.

The latest scare came after more than 100 threatening emails were apparently sent by far-right sympathizers to lawyers, politicians, journalists and even a pop star.

SEE ALSO: Probe underway after far-right threats sent to German politicians, courts and celebrities

Some of the emails contained bomb and other death threats, or boasted of being in possession of guns and biological weapons, media reported.

Berlin prosecutors, who are coordinating the national investigation, said it had received reports of more than 100 threats. In no cases were bombs found.

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Disposal of four WWII bombs in Göttingen soothes memories of 2010 tragedy

Some 8,000 residents of the city of Göttingen have been able to return home after a bomb disposal unit defused four WWII bombs discovered during building work.

Disposal of four WWII bombs in Göttingen soothes memories of 2010 tragedy
The evacuation zone in Göttingen. Photo: DPA

The last bomb was detonated by the explosive ordnance disposal service at around 1 am on Sunday morning, according to a spokesman for the city.

Göttingen has in the past had tragic experience with a bomb defusal operation. 

In 2010, three employees of the local Explosive Ordnance Disposal Service died when a bomb they were trying to defuse exploded. 

The memory of that disaster was on everyone’s minds this weekend, city spokesman Dominik Kimyon said.

“That incident was of course hovering over everything and shaped the mood. Now everyone is very relieved,” he said.

There are huge numbers of unexploded WWII bombs still lying under the ground in German cities, with evacuations regularly occurring after the ordnance is found during building work.

The four ten-ton WWII bombs were found during building work in Göttingen last week.

An evacuation zone with a radius of 1,000 meters was subsequently set up around the site where the bombs were found. 

More than 8,000 people had to leave their homes on Saturday, January 30th.

A total of around 260 people were provided with accommodation in several evacuation centres.

The rest of the evacuees stayed with relatives and friends. Corona regulations were temporarily suspended.

According to the city, there were no casualties during the planned detonations. However, window panes in two nearby buildings were shattered by the blast wave from the explosion

Residents were not allowed to return immediately, as exploration teams first checked the surrounding area for more explosive devices.

It was only after about two hours that most residents were given the all-clear and the exclusion zone was reopened.

SEE ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany