Germany cordons off motorway after finding pipe bomb materials in car

Four men have been arrested after police found bomb-building materials in a car on the German-Austrian border. Authorities are investigating whether the Polish driver was smuggling migrants and weapons across the border.

German authorities uncovered three pipes, explosive materials and potential detonation devices in a car during a routine border control stop in the Bavarian district of Kiefersfelden, said a police spokesman on Friday.

Additionally, police found a narcotic substance and several knives in the vehicle, which was stopped on the German-Austrian border at 10:30 p.m. (20:30 GMT) on Thursday.

Following the discovery, both the German and Austrian authorities cordoned off a section of the highway to examine the car.

The operation lasted over seven hours with traffic resuming normally at 5:45 a.m. on Friday.

Police said although the materials could have been used to create pipe bombs, no immediate explosion risk existed.

German authorities arrested a Polish man, a Guinean man, and two men from the Ivory Coast, who were traveling in the stopped car.

The car was registered in Poland. Investigators are looking into whether the Polish driver was trying to illegally smuggle the African passengers across the border.

Germany's Federal Police hailed the discovery as a success, with a spokeswoman saying: "You can see that the (increased) border controls are paying off."

Germany took in 890,000 refugees last year partially due to Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Austrian government's decision to open their borders to thousands of asylum seekers stranded in Hungary last year.

Germany's borders continue to remain open, but border control measures were increased earlier this year in response to waning public favor of Merkel's refugee policies.

Published time 17:44 Toronto