12 people were murdered and dozens more were injured when a Pakistani asylum seeker allegedly slammed a truck into a crowded Christmas market in what police are calling a terror attack. It appears that the terrorist kidnapped and murdered the Polish truck driver before carrying out the attack.
A truck driver murdered 12 people and injured about 50 more when he plowed into the crowd at a Christmas market in Berlin yesterday evening (Monday) in what the local police department is calling a deliberate attack. In addition, it was reported that the fatally wounded man discovered in the truck was not the owner or driver of the vehicle, meaning that the suspect most likely murdered the Polish truck driver before he carried out the terror attack.
In light of the terror attack, the German authorities have instructed citizens to avoid mass gatherings. In France, where a similar terror attack occurred in Nice in July, the security alert level has been increased in general and at Christmas markets in particular.
A Pakistani asylum seeker who arrived in Germany in February was arrested as a suspect in the terror attack. Two eye-witnesses chased him as he allegedly fled the scene and directed the police officers to him. Police apprehended him about two kilometers from the scene.
After the deadly terror attack in Berlin, last night Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
The local police department confirmed that the truck had been stolen from a construction site. Officials from the Polish company that owns the truck said that they lost contact with the truck driver a few hours before the terror attack. The nephew of the Polish truck driver said that he planned to stop in Berlin and then continue on his journey. The truck was carrying a shipment of steel from Italy, which apparently made the terror attack more severe.
— German Embassy (@GermanyinUSA) December 19, 2016
Eye-witnesses said that it was immediately clear that this was a deliberate act. Emma Rushton, a British tourist visiting Berlin, told CNN: “There’s no way it was an accident.” Rushton added that she saw at least 10 people injured and lying on the ground.
Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Berlin Yehudah Teichtal spoke to Channel 2 Online from the scene: “We were at a celebration at the community center when we heard about the terror attack. We immediately arrived at the scene and were in the situation room and speaking to the police. At the moment, the identities of the victims have not been released yet but we are here at the scene and ready to help with anything needed. We will help anyone who needs assistance.”