Police closed and evacuated a shopping center Saturday in Limbecker Platz in downtown Essen, Germany, citing terror threat. The shopping center, opened in 2009, is a huge building comprising more than 200 shops and dining restaurants that service over 60,000 visitors every day. It is considered among the largest shopping centers in the country.
The police said they shut down the shop after “concrete hints” that there would be a threat against the shopping center. All entrances to the mall, including the parking garage, sales hall and subway access will remain closed throughout the day, the police said, according to Spiegel.
The police also released a statement, in the German language, mentioning that the threat concerns only the shopping center. It did not disclose further information, citing ongoing investigations.
The shopping center informed its customers about the closure via its Facebook site.
In 2016, Germany was ranked No. 1 in the category of the best places to live in the world, however, this year the country dropped to No. 4, according to the U.S. News & World Report ranking of 80 countries. According to the report, the reason for the sudden downfall was, “The nation was rocked by a range of events — from growing public anxiety over an influx of refugees to a string of deadly terror attacks.” The recent years saw a large number of refugees entering the country with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door policy. The report also found that Germany’s downfall could be linked to a relatively low rank in mainly three categories — quality of life, citizenship and open for business.
Last year, Germany was a target of several terror attacks including the one at a Christmas market in Berlin in December when a man suddenly drove his truck into a crowd and killed 12 people.