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Driver rams into pedestrians in western Germany; at least 5 dead

Driver rams into pedestrians in western Germany; at least 5 dead
A police officer stands guard in the city center of Trier, Germany, on Tuesday after a man struck several pedestrians in the area. At least five died, authorities said. Photo by Julien Warnand/EPA-EFE

Dec. 1 (UPI) -- At least five people were killed Tuesday in west-central Germany when a vehicle veered into a pedestrian zone and began ramming people, police said.

A 9-month-old baby was among the dead after the driver struck the pedestrians in downtown Trier, authorities said in a tweet. He was arrested and his vehicle impounded a short time later.

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At least 15 people were injured in the crash, including four severely.

Trier Mayor Wolfram Liebe called the attack a "rampage."

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"We always see those images on TV, in other countries, and we always think this can't happen in Trier. And now it has happened in Trier and I am here as mayor and I have no words and I wonder, how can such a man have this idea?" Leibe said.

Trier, a city of about 110,000, is located about 100 miles west of Frankfurt near Germany's border with Luxembourg.

Its city center was cordoned off and emergency personnel immediately tended to the injured, police said.

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Police told reporters the driver is a 51-year-old man, but a motive is not known.

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"We don't know why he did it," police spokesman Karl-Peter Jochem said, adding that the driver appeared to hit people at random.

"What happened in Trier happened is staggering," tweeted Steffan Siebert, a spokesman for the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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"Our thoughts are with the relatives of the victims, with the numerous injured and with everyone who is currently on duty to care for those affected."

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