At least 12 people were killed and several others injured after a man drove a truck into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin on Tuesday. The Federal Police have taken charge of the case. The body of the truck’s owner, a Polish national, was found inside the vehicle.
The police had made one arrest in the case, but later said they had taken in the wrong suspect and that the true perpetrator was still at large, according to Germany’s Die Welt newspaper. Earlier, unconfirmed German media reports had identified the arrested suspect as Naved B, a 23-year-old asylum seeker from Pakistan.
The Berlin Police had refused to divulge any details of the man and not confirmed whether he was the attacker. A police spokesperson had only said that the suspect was being questioned. He was arrested about 2 km away from the site of the incident, reported The Telegraph.
Berlin Mayor Michael Müller said, “It’s terrible to see this scene. It’s exactly what we did not want to see in Berlin,” The New York Times reported. United States President-elect Donald Trump said Islamic terrorists were responsible for the attack, without mentioning any evidence. He said terrorists must be “eradicated from the face of the earth” and vowed to fulfil that goal with all “freedom-loving partners”, AP reported.
Trump further alleged that the attack was part of a global jihad against Christians. “ISIS [the Islamic State group] and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians and their places of worship as part of their global jihad,” he said said Trump, according to The Hindu.
Moreover, the US State Department condemned the incident, but it refrained from making any further comments. “The United States stands firmly with the German people during this time of national sadness, and we offer any support they may require,” said State Department spokesperson John Kirby.
In July last year, a truck driver had driven into a crowded street in France’s Nice, killing 84 people.