“Berlin terror attack: twelve dead, 49 injured as truck ploughs into crowd at Christmas market”
Telegraph, 19 Dec 2016:
- At least twelve dead, 49 injured at Berlin market.
- Attack occurred at Breitscheidplatz, outside the landmark Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.
- Police indicate incident is likely to be terror related - Isil claims responsibility.
- Initial suspect released, terrorist still at large, likely armed and dangerous.
A truck ploughed into a crowded Christmas market in the German capital Berlin on Monday evening, killing twelve people and injuring up to 49 others.
According to local police, the first indications pointed to a terrorist attack on the market, situated at the foot of the ruined Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church.
The incident evoked memories of an attack on Nice in France in July when Tunisian-born man drove a 19-tonne truck along the beach front, mowing down people who had gathered to watch the fireworks on Bastille Day, killing 86 people. The attack was claimed by Islamic State.
The truck careered into the Berlin market at what would have been one of the most crowded times for the Christmas market, when adults and children would be gathering in the traditional cluster of wooden huts that sell food and Christmas goods.
“I heard a big noise and then I moved on the Christmas market and saw much chaos…many injured people,” Jan Hollitzer, deputy editor in chief of Berliner Morgenpost, told CNN. “It was really traumatic.”
BBC, “Berlin attacker Anis Amri killed in Milan”, 23 Dec 2016:
The Berlin market attacker, Anis Amri, has been shot dead by police in Milan.
The Tunisian criminal fired on police who asked him for ID during a routine patrol in the Sesto San Giovanni area in the early hours of Friday.
German authorities say fingerprints they provided have confirmed the dead man is Amri. They are trying to find out if he had accomplices.
Monday’s attack on a Berlin Christmas market left 12 people dead and 49 injured.
What we know
Freedom or security, Berlin asks
IS released a video showing Amri pledging allegiance
...leading Eurosceptics - including French National Front leader Marine Le Pen - have criticised open European borders, a result of the Schengen pact, for allowing a fugitive to move between countries.
Meanwhile, the self-styled Islamic State (IS) group has released a video showing Amri pledging allegiance to its leader, Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi.
He does not make any reference to the Berlin attack, which IS claimed soon afterwards. It is not clear when or where the video was filmed.
Shortly before releasing the video, IS acknowledged Amri’s death in Milan.
When Italian police stopped the suspect, who was on foot, at 03:00 (02:00 GMT), he “immediately drew out a gun” and shot at the two policemen, Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti said.
Officer Cristian Movio was injured in the shoulder but his injuries are not life-threatening.
His junior colleague, Luca Scata, who had been in the police for just nine months, was the one who fired the shot which killed Amri.
German officials found Amri’s fingerprints inside the truck that was used in Monday evening’s attack.
Federal prosecutor Peter Frank said the focus of the criminal investigation into the killings now was to establish whether Amri had had a network of supporters who helped him to plan and carry out the attack or to flee.
Investigators are also trying to establish whether the gun used in the shooting in Milan is the same weapon used to kill the Polish driver of the truck, who was found dead with stab and gun wounds in the cab.
The attack took place at a busy Christmas market at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in the west of the German capital.
According to the Italian news agency Ansa, Anis Amri travelled by train from France to Turin, and then took another train to Milan.
From the central station he travelled on to Sesto San Giovanni, a working-class area.
Amri, a Tunisian national aged 24, had served a prison sentence in Italy after being convicted of vandalism, threats and theft in 2011.
He was known to Italian authorities for his violent behaviour while imprisoned.
After his release he was asked to leave the country. He later arrived in Germany where he applied for asylum in April of this year.
His application was rejected by the German authorities but they were unable to deport him to Tunisia because he had no valid identification papers.
Who were the victims?
Witnesses tell of devastation
Germany’s year of violence