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Truck Runs Into Berlin Christmas Market, Twelve Dead

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Christmas market near Kaiser Wilhelm Church in Berlin, Germany

Christmas market near Kaiser Wilhelm Church in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Sergey Galyonkin / flickr.

Berlin Police Call Christmas Market Deaths Probable ‘Terrorist Attack’

Berlin police say a truck has plowed while people were celebrating the holidays on the evening of December 19, killing at least 12 people and injuring dozens in a probable “terrorist attack.”

The attack took place at one of Berlin’s most-popular meeting and shopping places near the landmark Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in a western district of the German capital.

German officials said the truck drove deliberately into the crowd and likely was a “terrorist attack.” Police arrested a man near the market who they said was the truck’s driver.

Citing a German security source, Reuters reported the man is a 23-year-old migrant from Pakistan who was living in a hostel for refugees in Berlin.

A second man in the truck’s passenger seat, who police said was Polish, died at the scene despite efforts by medics to save him. Police said the Polish man was not in control of the truck when it drove 80 meters into a crowd of people.

The news agency dpa reported that the detained man came to Germany within the last year.

Polish broadcaster TVN 24 reported that the truck used in the suspected attack belonged to a Polish trucking company.

The company’s owner, Ariel Zurawski, told news media that the truck driver, his cousin, had been transporting steel to Berlin and was now missing after not answering telephone calls since the afternoon before the attack.

German police said they are working on the assumption that the truck was stolen.

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Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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