The action by German authorities added to jitters in many capitals as Europe ushered in the New Year with heightened security after a year of militant attacks, the biggest of which killed 130 in Paris in November.

The stations - Munich's central station and Passing station some 8 km (5 miles) away - reopened several hours later after the tip-off could not be substantiated.

But a Munich police spokesman said yesterday: "The situation has not eased and the terror alert remains."

He declined further comment, saying a news conference would be held at 1030 GMT.

On their Twitter feed, Munich police said: "Good morning to those, who spent the night out in #munich! Thanks for staying calm and for your understanding concerning our measures."

He did not name the country but German television said in an unsourced report that the tip-off came from France. Five to seven suicide bombers were to take part in the attack, Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae said.

On Dec 26, police in the Austrian capital Vienna said a 'friendly' intelligence service had warned European capitals of the possibility of a shooting or bomb attack before New Year, and that police across the continent had stepped up security measures.

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