Munich train stations evacuated over terror threat

Krystal Johnson, Caity Stone and AAP

Police in Munich have warned of a "serious, imminent threat" by Islamic State group suicide bombers on New Year's Eve and asked people to stay away from the city's main train station and a second train station in the city's Pasing neighbourhood.

Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told reporters on Thursday night at Munich's police headquarters authorities had received information that IS was behind the threat.

Munich police president Hubertus Andrae said German authorities had been tipped off by a foreign intelligence service that IS was planning attacks with five to seven suicide bombers, the German news agency DPA reported. Andrae said so far there hadn't been any arrests.

Police spokesman Werner Kraus said "after evaluating the situation, we started evacuating the train stations and also asked partygoers to stay away from big crowds outside".

The warning came only hours before the city rang in the new year.

Despite police warnings to stay away from big crowds, thousands of people were on the streets of Munich at midnight to welcome the new year with fireworks.

DPA reported massive delays in the city's public transportation system after both train stations were quickly evacuated and trains no longer stopped there.

Cities across Europe have been on edge since a terror attack in Paris in November killed 130 people.

A few days after the Paris attack, a soccer stadium in Hannover in central Germany was evacuated after a terror threat against a friendly match between Germany and the Netherlands. The authorities never reported any findings of explosives or concrete attack plans.

London deploys extra armed police for New Year's Eve

British police said they would deploy more armed officers than usual on the streets of London for New Year's Eve, as the terror threat level remains at "severe" meaning an attack is "highly likely".

Some 3,000 police officers will be deployed in central London on Friday, where there will be the traditional fireworks display along the River Thames near the Houses of Parliament, the police said.

The Daily Telegraph said all the armed officers in London -- around 2,000 people -- would be deployed in "an unprecedented anti-terror security operation".

Metropolitan Police spokeswoman Jo Edwards said: "The public can expect to see additional police officers in central London, which includes an increased number of firearms officers.

"Our plans are purely precautionary and not as a result of any specific intelligence," she said.

For the second year running access to central London to view the fireworks is by ticket only and all 113,000 have been sold out.

Roads in central London started being closed off from 1400 GMT.

Westminster, Soho, Piccadillly and the area around Buckingham Palace will be entirely car-free between 2000 GMT and 0600 GMT.

Public transport will be free and run until 0430 GMT.

The terror threat level in Britain was last raised in August 2014 to four out of five grades and Prime Minister David Cameron said

Since August 2014 the threat level in Britain has been at four out of a total of five.

Prime Minister David Cameron earlier said that seven terror plots have been foiled in Britain in the past year.