Koran recitation sparks bomb alarm on bus in Germany

Other News Materials 29 July 2011 17:55 (UTC +04:00)

A man's whispered recitation of the Koran so unnerved a woman sitting near him on the bus that she reported a possible bomb Friday, creating a massive traffic jam on a major north German artery, dpa reported.

"She heard the mumbling of Koran surahs by her fellow passenger and took that as a threat," said police spokesman Detlev Kaldinski in Rotenburg in the state of Lower Saxony.

Her warning prompted the bus driver to pull over his vehicle, carrying 45 people from Copenhagen to Paris, in the middle of the night. Police later showed up with a team of 20 investigators, special forces and bomb sniffer dogs.

A search of the man, a Tunisian, at a rest stop turned up neither weapons nor explosives. The highway was blocked for two hours and the rest stop unavailable for three.

The woman heard the man use the word "Osama" during his prayers, said police. The man said he has the nickname Osama and sometimes speaks about himself in the third person.