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Soccer Match Canceled In Germany After Bomb Threat


It's the third and final day of mourning for the 129 people killed in the attacks last Friday night. This country remains on high alert. France's interior minister says more than a hundred-thousand police officers and soldiers are now on the streets in towns and cities throughout the country. I'm joined here in Paris by NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson. And Soraya, although we are here in Paris, much of the news tonight is coming from your base in Germany. So let's start there. What is happening in Hanover?

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: Well, there was supposed to be a soccer match tonight between the Dutch and German teams. And apparently with all the preparations they've been making in the wake of the Paris attacks, they came across some threats. Initially, there was some sort of package or device that was found which turned out to be benign. But then they received a credible tip about 15 minutes after the gates were opened and people started to come into the stadium. And so they quickly evacuated everyone. And in fact, they turned the teams around before they even got to the stadium.

SIEGEL: Also, a series of arrests in another German city today.

NELSON: Yes. That was earlier in the day in the city or near the city of Aachen, which is close to the Belgian border. There is a job center. Apparently some migrants were there. Something rose the - arose suspicion, and they ended up arresting three people and eventually four more. And that, you know - they were released later. It turned out that was not connected to terror.

SIEGEL: Now, meanwhile, back in France, there was news of more airstrikes carried out on Syria. And French president Francois Hollande has made an unprecedented request of its European allies to support French military actions. What exactly does that mean?

NELSON: What ended up happening is, France evoked a never-before-used article in the European Union's Lisbon Treaty that would require members of the 28 states within the Union to give aid and assistance by all means possible. Basically, they were looking for help with their military campaign against ISIS in Syria. That is something that the European countries did not seem to be interested in doing, at least militarily. But they are willing to help in other ways, and so that conversation's still continuing.

SIEGEL: Have there been developments in the investigation into Friday's attacks here in Paris?

NELSON: There certainly were several that were of import. One was that there was an additional fugitive, apparently. It's not just one person that they're looking for now but two, and it could be many more. But here in Paris, what they ended up doing was finding the car that was perhaps used in the attacks on Friday night. That car, once they determined that it was - didn't have a bomb or anything in it, they ended up towing away - the police did. And they're looking into whether this, in fact, was used during the attacks. It was rented by one of the fugitives.

SIEGEL: Soraya, a more subjective question - we've both been talking with Parisians all day today. What's your sense of what people feel in the city just three days after these murderous attacks on Friday night?

NELSON: Well, there's a lot of defiance. There's a determination to go back out on the streets. There is a campaign to go back out on terraces, to go to cafes. And yet, people remain really jittery. I mean, the Eiffel Tower, for example - it opened for a short while and closed again because the workers were afraid of - that there were not enough security measures in place to protect them. So it's a very, very tense time even as we see more and more people coming into the streets than certainly were there on Saturday.

SIEGEL: Soraya, thanks.

NELSON: You're welcome.

SIEGEL: That's NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, usually in Berlin but this week, with me here in Paris. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson
Special correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is based in Berlin. Her reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and read at NPR.org. From 2012 until 2018 Nelson was NPR's bureau chief in Berlin. She won the ICFJ 2017 Excellence in International Reporting Award for her work in Central and Eastern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan.