One of Germany’s biggest carnivals has been cancelled at the 11th hour following a “specific threat of an Islamist attack”.
More than 250,000 people were expected to attend the street parade in the northern city of Braunschweig.
But shortly before it was due to start, police told people to stay at home after receiving credible information that an attack was imminent.
Police spokesman Thomas Geese said the event was cancelled 90 minutes before its scheduled start time, adding: “Many people arriving at the train station from out of town were already dressed up and very disappointed – but we didn’t want to take any risks.”
Officials do not believe the threat is connected to two fatal attacks in Copenhagen.
Ulrich Markurth, the Mayor of Braunschweig, said the cancellation of the yearly carnival was “a sad day for our city and a sad day for our democratic society”.
The event – which coincides with the Roman Catholic carnival season – would have seen bands and 4,000 people in fancy dress costumes march down a four-mile route through the city.
Organisers have said the bands will perform their live music at the town hall instead.
Police have confirmed the warning came from intelligence sources, but have refused to provide any further information about the threat.