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Germany releases 3 men suspected of Unity Day plot

Oct 3, 2011, 4:26 a.m.

COLOGNE, Germany (Reuters) - German police said on Monday they had released three men suspected of planning an attack at celebrations marking the 21st anniversary of German reunification due to a lack of evidence.

A police spokesman in Cologne said the three men were released after the state prosecutor ruled there was not enough proof of a criminal act being planned, but that an investigation of the suspects will continue.

On Sunday, police said the three men, aged 22 to 27, were detained in Bonn, the former West German capital just south of Cologne, while police in Hesse state said a fourth man was detained in Offenbach. He was released on Sunday.

Police said they had received information that the suspects had illegally acquired weapons ahead of Monday's celebrations in Bonn, which is about 30 km (18 miles) south of Cologne.

The suspects had been under observation for quite some time by German police authorities, one official said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Christian Wulff attended the Unity Day celebrations in Bonn on Monday.

(Reporting By Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by Shaimaa Fayed)

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