12 dead in Berlin Christmas market truck crash

Interior minister reluctant to call crash ‘attack’ but says ‘so many things point to it being’ case

12 dead in Berlin Christmas market truck crash

World Bulletin / News Desk

At least nine people were killed when a truck crashed into a Christmas market in Berlin late on Monday, German police have said.

Berlin police department said officers and ambulances had been dispatched to the scene of the incident in the Charlottenburg district.

Police said their investigation on whether the incident was a terror attack was still underway.

Eyewitnesses in the area reported the truck driver ran away after the attack.

At least 12 people were killed and 48 others injured when a truck crashed into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin late Monday, according to German authorities.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said he did not want to use the word "attack" for the crash. "But so many things point to it being an (attack),” he said in a statement on the state-run ARD television station.

“The driver of the truck ran away. But we have arrested a suspect who might be this driver. He is currently being interrogated,” police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf told reporters at the scene of the popular Christmas market near the historical Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in central Berlin.

Neuendorf said a co-driver was found dead at the scene and an investigation is currently underway to determine whether the crash was an accident or a terror attack.

Police said another driver was found dead in the truck was a Poland citizen.

Police confirmed on Twitter that the truck had a Polish license plate, and the 

"It is suspected that the truck was stolen from a construction site in Poland,” it said.

German daily Welt reported that the suspected driver was a Pakistani refugee who arrived in Germany in February. The daily Tagesspiegel said the suspect was known to police for minor criminal acts and not for association with terrorist groups.

Police declined to comment on the nationality of the suspect, due to the ongoing investigation.

A press conference was scheduled for Tuesday.

In Washington, the White House condemned what it said “appears to have been an attack” and offered assistance to German officials "as they recover from and investigate this horrific incident.

"Germany is one of our closest partners and strongest allies, and we stand together with Berlin in the fight against all those who target our way of life and threaten our societies," spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Aralık 2016, 12:23