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Several Dead After Van Plows Into Crowd in Muenster, Germany

A man drove a van into a street cafe in the western German city of Muenster, killing two people and injuring 20, then fatally shot himself on the scene, authorities said.

While crashing a vehicle into civilians recalls recent terrorist attacks, including one on a Christmas market in Berlin in 2016 that killed 12 people, German police and federal officials warned against jumping to conclusions about the incident on Saturday. Six of the injured were in serious condition.

The dead suspect is a German national with a history of psychological problems and police are searching his apartment, Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported, without saying how it got the information.

“Must do everything to find out what is behind this act,” German Justice Minister Katarina Barley said on Twitter. “Terrible news from Muenster,” deputy government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer tweeted.

The crash happened at about 3:30 p.m. in the old town of Muenster, city police spokesman Andreas Bode told reporters. Television networks ran a photo said to have been taken shortly after the crash that showed overturned restaurant tables in the city’s old town on one of the first sunny weekend afternoons this spring.

Police are investigating if other attackers may have fled from the vehicle, though there’s no immediate evidence that there were accomplices, Bode said. A “suspicious item” was found in the van, which is currently being investigated.

The incident is reminiscent of an attack in the Christmas market attack in the German capital, where a Tunisian killed 12 drove a semi-truck into a crowd. Terrorists recently also used trucks in London and France to carry out attacks.