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Car drives into crowd in western Germany, 4 dead, 20 injured

The aftermath of an incident involving a car crashing into a crowd in the city of Muenster in western Germany on April 7, 2018 (photo via social media)

At least four people have been killed and 20 more injured after a car plowed into a large crowd in western Germany.

Local news sources said on Saturday that the driver fatally shot himself after crashing his car into a large gathering of people in the city of Muenster.

On its online edition, German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported the driver was a "psychologically disturbed." The man had no terrorist background, the newspaper added, citing information it had obtained but giving no specific source.

Regional police service called on the public to avoid the scene.

“There are deaths and injured. Please avoid the area, we are on scene,” said the police in a statement on Twitter.

Spiegel Online said authorities were assuming the incident was an attack although there was no official confirmation.

Local firefighting service said the incident, which some reports said involved a small truck, affected a total of 50 people, most of them individuals who were sitting down near Kiepenkerl statue in Munster’s historic old town. The area normally attracts many tourists who frequent restaurants known for their traditional cuisine.

Germany has been mostly spared terrorist attacks that have rocked countries like France and Belgium over the past few years. However, the incident in Munster was highly reminiscent of an attack in December 2016 in Berlin, where Anis Amri, a failed Tunisian asylum seeker, plowed a truck he had stolen into a crowd of Christmas shoppers and killed 11 people.

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