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12 dead, many injured as truck plows into Christmas market in Berlin

Berlin: at least twelve dead after truck crashes into Christmas market

Police on the ground have said this is a suspected attack on German shoppers.

A witness said “people are crushed” while another said people are passed out on the ground underneath the articulated truck.

Videos and pictures emerging online have shown market stalls crushed by the huge lorry.

The driver has been arrested, according to reports and a passenger in the lorry is dead.

German media cited local security sources as saying that there was evidence suggesting the arrested suspect was from Afghanistan or Pakistan and entered Germany in February as a refugee.

The truck drove up the Budapester Strasse onto the footpath and came to a stop before the gigantic Norwegian Christmas fir tree erected just a week ago.

One person at the market said the truck was travelling “fast” and crashed with a loud bang.

As many as 50 people have been injured and locals are reporting several fatalities.

Many people also left injured after vehicle runs into night market, in what is suspected to have been a deliberate attack.

At least nine people have been killed and many more injured, according to German police, after a truck ploughed into a Christmas market in Berlin in what is believed to have been a deliberate attack.

A vehicle, a large black Scania articulated lorry, ran into the market outside the landmark Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church on Monday evening.

Police said the lorry came from the direction of Budapester Strasse, over the pavement, coming to a halt by a Christmas tree in front of the Gedächtnis Kirche, or ,. Known locally as the jagged tooth, the church was bombed in the second world war, and left more or less in its ruined state as a memorial to the victims of the war. It’s one of the most popular tourist sites in Berlin, and very close to the Berlin Zoo.

Police have cleared the area and volunteers have set up an information point for relatives looking for news of missing loved ones. The Christmas market has been cleared and a police spokesman said there are concerns the crash may have also caused a gas leak.

A photograph posted by the Morgenpost newspaper showed damaged tables and stalls, while footage posted online by the same outlet showed a truck on the scene and police officers investigating. The Berliner Zeitung said police also believed there to be multiple injuries.

Both newspapers reported it was not immediately clear whether the incident was an accident or some kind of an attack on the market. Breitscheidplatz, where the market was set up, is one of Berlin’s busiest shopping areas.

One witness, Emma Rushton, said the lorry ploughed through the market, adding that people had been crushed.

The incident evoked memories of an attack in July in Nice, France, that left 86 people dead. A Tunisian-born man drove a 19-tonne truck along the beach front, striking down people who had gathered to watch the fireworks on Bastille Day. The attack was claimed by Islamic State.

Terrified market-goers have tweeted panicked images from the scene of the incident which comes an hour after the Russian ambassador was shot dead in Ankara.

At least one man has been confirmed dead according to local media, with several more injured.

Germany’s Christmas markets have been feared as a key target for jihadis following a series of other Islamist terror attacks in Germany and elsewhere in Europe this year.

We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates, pictures and video on this breaking news story.

Tourist Emma Rushton, from England, tweeted from the scene: ‘Lorry just ploughed through Christmas market in #berlin.

‘There is no road nearby.

‘People crushed. I am safe. I am safe’

Julian Reichelt, editor-in-chief at Bild, a German tabloid newspaper, said the market would be busy every night of the week leading up to Christmas.
The market is difficult to access by accident.
“It looks like something that was adapted by Nice,” Reichelt said, referring to the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, France, that left at least 80 people dead and more than 400 injured.
Police could not confirm whether Monday’s incident in Berlin was related to terror and had no information on the driver.
One witness said the truck had a Polish license plate, according to Reichelt.

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