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Stadium in Germany evacuated, soccer match cancelled over bomb threat

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Hannover, Germany – “Serious plans for explosions” forced the evacuation of a stadium in Hannover, Germany, on Tuesday night before a Netherlands-Germany friendly soccer match, the police chief for Germany’s Lower Saxony region told Germany’s public broadcaster NDR.

Germany’s Lower Saxony Police Chief Volker Kluwe told Germany’s public broadcaster NDR, “We had concrete evidence that someone wanted to set off an explosive device inside the stadium.” The tip from federal authorities forced the cancellation of the Netherlands-Germany match about one-and-a-half hours before game time.

BREAKING: Reports that German police have discovered a truck bomb disguised as an ambulance near football stadium in Hanover. #GERNED— DW Sports (@dw_sports) November 17, 2015

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The German national team tweeted that the game had been canceled, and “#DieMannschaft are under police protection and have been escorted to a safe place.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and at least three other top government officials were expected to attend the match, Merkel’s office said.

OFFICIAL: Police announcement: "Move away from the stadium. Do not stand still." #GERNED— DW Sports (@dw_sports) November 17, 2015

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The incident comes four days after three suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the Stade de France in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis during a soccer match between France and Germany. The bombers died in the explosions, as did one bystander. That was one of several terror attacks across the French capital Friday night that killed at least 129 people and wounded hundreds more.

BREAKING: According to BILD, the TUI-Arena is now also being evacuated. The Söhne Mannheims pop band were playing there tonight.— DW Sports (@dw_sports) November 17, 2015

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France and England were still scheduled to play a friendly soccer match Tuesday night at London’s Wembley Stadium. Leading up to the game, London police increased their presence around the stadium and at several busy areas, such as transport hubs, across the British capital.

By Mark Morgenstein and Jason Hanna

CNN’s Claudia Otto, Tommy Evans, Patrick Sung and Ulrike Dehmel contributed to this report.

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