German police arrest two brothers on suspicion of planning attack at country’s largest mall

Two brothers have been arrested in western Germany on suspicion of planning an attack at a shopping center where a popular Christmas market is taking place near the Dutch border, police say.

Special police units apprehended the two suspicious looking men in Duisburg at about 12:45am local time on Friday, as authorities say they may have been planning to attack the shopping center CentrO in Oberhausen.

‘The 28- and 31-year-old brothers born in Kosovo are suspected of having prepared an attack on the CentrO in Oberhausen,’ an Essen police statement reads.

Two brothers have been arrested in western Germany on suspicion of planning an attack at the CentrO retail complex (file above) where a popular Christmas market is taking place near the Dutch border, police say

Two brothers have been arrested in western Germany on suspicion of planning an attack at the CentrO retail complex (file above) where a popular Christmas market is taking place near the Dutch border, police say

Special police units apprehended the two suspicious looking men in Duisburg at about 12:45am local time on Friday, as authorities say they may have been planning to attack the shopping center CentrO in Oberhause (file above)

Special police units apprehended the two suspicious looking men in Duisburg at about 12:45am local time on Friday, as authorities say they may have been planning to attack the shopping center CentrO in Oberhause (file above)

It's unclear if the men are related to the attack that happened on Monday when a hijacked lorry claimed 12 lives and injured dozens of others when it crashed into a Berlin Christmas market (above)

It’s unclear if the men are related to the attack that happened on Monday when a hijacked lorry claimed 12 lives and injured dozens of others when it crashed into a Berlin Christmas market (above)

‘At the present time, it is determined at high pressure how far preparations have been made and whether other persons are involved.’

Authorities at the CentrO shopping center showed a heavy presence Thursday evening due to the threat of the situation.

‘In civilian clothes and in uniform they controlled the area, clearly visible to visitors and customers,’ police said in Friday’s statement.

Authorities said they are still working to establish how far the preparations for the potential attack at the shopping complex went and if there are other individuals involved.

Acting on a tip-off from the intelligence services, police were deployed to the shopping complex and a nearby Christmas market in the western city of Oberhausen late Thursday, they said.

Carnage: The lorry was deliberately steered into the market, which was packed with shoppers on Monday night. Victims including children were sent flying like bowling pins and crushed under the lorry

Carnage: The lorry was deliberately steered into the market, which was packed with shoppers on Monday night. Victims including children were sent flying like bowling pins and crushed under the lorr

The names of the brothers were not released, and the police provided no further details.

Germany is on high alert following the horrific attack on the Christmas market on Monday in Berlin that killed 12 and injured 49 people.

It’s unclear if the men arrested in Duisburg are connected to the attack on Monday, where the suspect, Anis Amri, 24, is still at large.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the assault — their deadliest yet carried out on German soil.

The CentrO shopping complex in Oberhausen is the largest mall in Germany with more than 250 stores.

It’s located about 25miles from the border with the Netherlands just north of Düsseldorf.