Berlin Christmas Market Terror: 12 Killed and 48 Injured
December 19, 2016
Pakistani refugee hijacked truck and killed the driver before turning lights off and driving stolen 25 ton truck into shoppers at 40 mph in a busy Christmas market killing 12 and injuring 48.
- Berlin police confirmed that they believe the truck was 'intentionally' driven into the crowd.
- Incident 'probable' terrorism after Polish-registered lorry understood to have been stolen by hijacker
- Two senior German officials confirmed the man was Pakistani and arrived in Germany as an asylum seeker
- The original driver, a Polish national transporting steel beams, was found dead inside the 25-tonne vehicle.
- Police using Twitter to urge locals to stay indoors and check 'suspicious items' as Angela Merkel is 'mourning'.
A Pakistani asylum seeker is thought to have been behind the wheel of a 25-tonne lorry that mowed down and killed 12 people - and injured 48 others - as it sped at 40mph through a busy Christmas market in Berlin in what police are calling a 'probable terrorist attack'.
The vehicle laden with steel cargo mounted the pavement at 7pm, before tearing through stalls and shoppers on Breitscheidplatz Square, outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the German capital's main shopping area.
The masked 23-year-old at the wheel - who according to German newspaper Berliner used different aliases - fled the scene before being arrested at a nearby zoo.
Two senior German officials told The Washington Post the man was of Pakistani heritage and arrived in Germany as an asylum seeker on February 16.
Police confirmed the original driver, who was transporting steel beams from Poland to Germany, was a Polish national who was found dead in the lorry's cabin. It is thought he was hijacked.
They also confirmed on Twitter that they believe the truck was 'intentionally' driven into the festive crowds in a 'probable terrorist attack'.
As German police, the White House and Germany's top security official indicated the incident was likely terror related, there was a chilling echo of the deadly terror attack in the French city of Nice in July. It also came just one hour after the Russian ambassador was shot dead in Ankara.
The harrowing incident also comes amid repeated warnings from various security agencies that ISIS planned to wreak havoc on European countries during the festive season, specifically threatening Christmas markets.
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