GERMAN Health Minister Hermann Gröhe wasn’t ruling out the idea of extending the lockdown of the Berlin hospitals after Monday night’s attempted attack, saying he needed to analyze the “asymmetric” threat and wanted more information from federal and city police.
Following a barrage of criticism in Germany’s media about inadequate security measures at the hospitals in Berlin after Monday’s incident, Gröhe again declined to explicitly rule out sending federal police to the hospitals again to secure the area in case of an attack on another hospital.
Police carried out an inspection of all medical facilities in Berlin on Tuesday morning and “vigorously” stopped patients leaving, the ministry’s spokesman Gerd Spahr told a press conference.
Germans and Germans of North African background fear reprisals against them following a string of terrorist attacks across the country this year and local media have been reporting that the cell thought to be behind the deadly truck attack in Berlin in December last year remains active and is still planning new attacks.
On Tuesday, Spahr dismissed as “not really at the moment” the long-standing rumour that police had discovered an arms cache near the Bamberg-Ozerskirchen border between German states.
Last week, a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung claimed that federal police had uncovered an arms cache near the South-West Bavarian town of Obersalzberg, one of several other towns on the state border that police say have been on the terror group’s radar for some time.
The state of Bavaria has so far been the target of three attacks in 2017, including the Berlin truck attack that left 12 dead and dozens injured in December last year.