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Three held in Germany suspected of being on IS mission

A raid took place at a property in the town of Reinfeld in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein. Credit: RTV

Three Syrian men arrested in Germany are "strongly suspected" of having been sent to the country by Islamic State to prepare for a terrorist attack and may have links to last year's Paris attackers.

German federal prosecutors believe the trio were dispatched to Germany in November 2015 "either to carry out a mission that they had been informed about or to wait for further instructions".

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere later said the suspects may be a "sleeper cell" with connections to the group of men who attacked the French capital in November last year.

Pre-dawn raids were conducted in six locations across two German states. Credit: RTV

Mr Maiziere said the men had fake passports made in the "same workshop" as the Paris attackers and journeyed from Syria to Europe through the same migrant trafficking network with mobiles and US dollars.

The men, aged from 17 to 26, were arrested by special forces in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony, with support from 200 federal and local police. Their flats were also searched.

The prosecutors gave no information on a suspected attack target and said: "Concrete missions or orders have not so far been found."

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German canoe slalom coach dies after car crash in Rio

Stefan Henze suffered head injuries in the crash on Friday. Credit: PA

The coach of Germany's canoe slalom team has died following a car crash in Rio last week, the German Olympics team has said.

Stefan Henze suffered head injuries in the crash on Friday when he was travelling with teammate Christian Kaeding in a taxi to the athletes' village and the car crashed into a concrete barrier.

"We are endlessly sad on this day," said German Olympic Sports Confederation President Alfons Hoermann. "Words cannot come close to describing how we in the Olympic team feel after this dreadful incident."

The 35-year-old, a 2004 Olympic Games silver medallist, had undergone emergency surgery early on Friday and had been in intensive care ever since.

Kaeding suffered minor injuries and has been released from hospital.

The German team said it will hold a ceremony on Tuesday.

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'Two on the run after axe and gun attack' in Germany

Credit: Reuters

One person has been injured after an attack reportedly involving an axe and a gun in the German city of Cologne.

Two people remain on the run after the violent incident in the city centre at around 4am in the morning, said the German newspaper Koelner Express.

A police spokeswoman confirmed the fact of the attack but said she was still waiting for details from a city hospital over the weapons involved.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing two men hitting each other with axes after a confrontation involving up to four men, the newspaper said.

One man was reportedly stabbed and then tried to flee in his car, only to be shot at by the other two men.

Two suspects were later stopped by police. The motive for the attack is unknown, the newspaper reported.

German terror suspect 'may have plotted football attack'

Officials said the man may have plotted an attack on the Bundesliga championships Credit: Reuters

German special forces have arrested a Syrian refugee on suspicion of plotting an attack inspired by the so-called Islamic State.

The 24-year-old is suspected being member of the terror group and of planning an attack at the start of the Bundesliga season - the equivalent of the Premier League.

The man was arrested in Mutterstadt in the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

"There are indications that something is being planned for the start of the Bundesliga season," a interior ministry spokesman for the region told AFP.

However in a separate statement the ministry added there was currently "no evidence of a concrete threat".

Metal music festival bans rucksacks over terror fears

Metal fans at the Wacken Open Air festival in 2013 Credit: Reuters

A heavy metal music festival in Germany has banned revellers from bringing in rucksacks and bags to its main site in a security clampdown sparked by terror fears.

Wacken Open Air festival introduced the new measures after a suicide bomber himself up outside another music festival in Ansbach last month, injuring 15 people.

A spokesman said that festival-goers will still be able to take their luggage into the campsites, but they can only bring small waist packs into the main grounds.

The festival, held between August 4-6, is expected to draw around 75,000 people and features over 120 acts including Iron Maiden, Saxon and Blind Guardian.

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