German parade axed over terror fear
Police in the German city of Braunschweig have cancelled a popular carnival street parade because of fears of an imminent Islamist terror attack.
Police spokesman Thomas Geese said officers received credible information that there was a "concrete threat of an attack" on the parade and therefore called on all visitors to stay at home.
Braunschweig's Carnival is the biggest one in northern Germany and draws around 250,000 visitors each year.
Mr Geese said the parade was cancelled only 90 minutes before its scheduled start and "many people arriving at the train station were already dressed up and very disappointed - but we didn't want to take any risks".
Carnival is celebrated in many regions of Germany with parades, music, revellers dressing up in costumes and dancing in the streets.
Mr Geese said: "Together with city officials and organisers we evaluated the information and then, at very short notice, decided to cancel the street parade."
He declined to give further details regarding the nature of the threat, but did say that the threat had "an Islamist background" and the warning came from intelligence sources.
The city's mayor, Ulrich Markurth, said the cancellation marked a "sad day for our city ... and a sad day for our democratic society".
Organizers and city officials announced that the many marching bands that had planned to participate in the parade would instead play their music at the city's town hall.
Braunschweig's police chief Michael Pientka told public radio NDR that there was no connection to the terror attacks in Copenhagen, Denmark, where an attacker killed two men this weekend.