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Dusseldorf Christmas markets evacuated after ‘threat’

Christmas markets in the western German city of Dusseldorf were evacuated on Monday after authorities received a "threat," officials told dpa.

Christmas markets in the western German city of Dusseldorf were evacuated on Monday after authorities received a “threat,” officials told dpa.

The police evacuated all Christmas markets in Dusseldorf‘s city centre on Monday afternoon. The mulled wine sellers and other traditional stands remained closed for several hours.

Police did not give the all-clear until around 6 pm (1700 GMT).

There had been an “abstract external threat” against the markets, a Dusseldorf police spokesman said.

More specifically, a threatening call was made to the police control centre, dpa has learnt.

Police decided to close the markets as a precaution. “Security must have priority,” the police spokesperson said.

According to the police, the evacuation of the markets went off without a hitch.

In order to exclude any danger, the police also blocked all roads leading to the markets.

There was no acute danger, officials said.

Shops in the city centre – including those in the immediate vicinity of the Christmas markets – remained open.

Around 6 pm, the police lifted the closures again.

Whether the stalls at the Christmas markets would open again for the remaining evening hours after the forced closure was up to the individual operators, police said.

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