At least two people were killed and several injured when a car drove into a pedestrian zone in the southwestern German city of Trier on Tuesday, police said, adding that the driver had been arrested.
“We have arrested one person and secured the car. According to initial information, two people are dead. Please continue to avoid the city centre,” Trier police tweeted.
A few minutes later, an updated tweet read: “Several dead and injured in Trier’s inner city.”
“More info to come. Caring for the injured has absolute priority!”
Police spokesman Uwe Konz told AFP that it remained unclear what exactly happened, saying “the background (to the incident) still needs to be clarified”.
But Trier mayor Wolfram Leibe was quoted by regional broadcaster SWR as saying the driver had gone on “a rampage” that had caused at least two deaths and 15 injuries.
Footage from the scene broadcast on NTV showed several police vans and other emergency vehicles parked on a wide shopping street in Trier, a large section of which appeared to have been cleared.
Shoppers were seen huddling outside stores festooned with Christmas decorations, while sirens could be heard in the distance.
Although the incident has not been confirmed as an attack, it brought back memories of the 2016 truck rampage at a Berlin Christmas market that left 12 people dead.
The driver, a failed Tunisian asylum seeker, was a supporter of the Islamic State jihadist group.
In August 2019, six people were injured in a series of motorway accidents in Berlin in what prosecutors described as a suspected Islamist attack.