Berlin terror attack: Twelve dead and 48 injured as truck ploughs into crowd at Christmas market
Berlin police are investigating as “a probable terrorist attack” the killing of 12 people after a lorry ploughed into a busy Christmas market in Berlin.
At least 48 were injured, some seriously, after the vehicle mounted the pavement at about 40mph and crashed into them.
The driver was reported to have fled but was later said to have been arrested by police. Local German media reported that the suspect was a Pakistani or Afghan citizen who entered Germany on Dec. 31, 2015, citing security sources.
A passenger in the lorry – believed to be the original driver – was later found dead inside. German authorities confirmed that the passenger was a Polish national and that he was not the person in control of the vehicle, which belonged to a Polish delivery company, at the time of the crash.
Police said the incident – which echoed an attack in Nice in July this year where 86 people were killed by a truck driven by a terrorist inspired by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) – appeared to be intentional and was being investigated as a suspected terror attack. On Monday night they warned local residents to stay indoors.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, expressed her sympathy for the victims of the incident.
Germany was put on high alert for a major terror attack in the months after Mrs Merkel opened the country’s borders to more than one million refugees from the Middle East.
Within minutes of last night’s incident, far-Right politicians were criticised for exploiting the attack to suggest that Germany’s generosity had allowed extremists into the country.
The carnage came just hours after the Russian ambassador to Turkey had been shot dead in the Turkish capital Ankara by a policeman who claimed to be taking revenge for Moscow’s involvement in the battle for Aleppo.
It followed warnings from intelligence agencies that Isil terrorists may target Christmas markets in Europe.