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Van crashes into crowd in Germany killing and injuring several, police say

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By Saphora Smith and Carolin Sri-Narayana  with NBC News World News
Image: Muenster
Police vans in Muenster, Germany.   -   Copyright  AP

LONDON — A van has crashed into a crowd of people in the western German city of Muenster, killing several and injuring at least 30 people, police said Saturday.

Officers told NBC News the suspected driver is believed to have committed suicide.

The Associated Press reported that three people had been killed, but NBC News could not immediately verify the reports.

The incident happened shortly before 3:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. ET) in the Kiepenkerl area of the city center. Muenster Police tweeted Saturday afternoon that residents should avoid the city center where a police operation is underway.

Officers said the motive for the attack was still unclear and that the investigation is continuing.

A deputy spokeswoman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ulrike Demmer, tweeted "our thoughts are with the victims and their families." She described the incident Saturday "terrible news."

In December 2016, a truck plowed into crowds at a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.