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Terror warning shuts German rock festival on opening night

03 June 2017

The Rock am Ring festival, which was scheduled to run until Sunday, is an annual event held at the Nuernburgring arena near the historic city of Nuernburg, focused mainly on rock and metal music.

Germany's biggest rock festival will resume after being disrupted by fears of a possible "terrorist threat" which have proved to be unfounded, the organisers said Saturday.

Organisers released a statement on the festival website that "due to a terrorist threat the police have advised us to interrupt the festival". "Please head to the exits", they said.

Journalists were told of concerns about a person, who had been involved in the festival preparations, including erecting the security fences.

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That prompted officials to halt the festival at the Nuerburgring racing circuit in western Germany. Police said they were continuing a search of the grounds on Saturday morning.

Roger Lewentz, Rhineland-Palatinate state's interior minister, said that "the safety of visitors stands above everything - that is the maxim, and there can be no other".

The police said there was no agreed timeline "for us to give the all-clear signal".

Authorities took the precautionary measure less than two weeks after 22 people were killed as they left an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

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The country remains on high alert after a militant attack on a Christmas market in Berlin on December 19, that claimed 11 more lives and wounding dozens.

The rejected Tunisian asylum seeker had been on authorities' radar but was not arrested.

Lieberberg also called for Islamic extremists deemed unsafe to be arrested and said he wanted to see "demonstrations against these violent people".

"So far I haven't seen Muslims taking to the streets in their tens of thousands and saying, 'what are you doing?'" he added.

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