'Asylum-seeker may have carried out Berlin attack'

Updated: Dec 21, 2016, 10:20 IST | Agencies

German police say arrested Pakistani migrant not the actual perpetrator

A policeman walks at the Christmas market near Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
A policeman walks at the Christmas market near Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on Tuesday. Pic/AFP

Berlin: Investigators said they suspect the driver of a truck that ploughed into a crowd at a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12 people and injuring 48, did so in a deliberate terrorist attack, and Chancellor Angela Merkel said he may have been an asylum-seeker.

The German police, however, think that the man from Pakistan arrested as a suspect in the attack was not the actual perpetrator, Die Welt newspaper reported, citing senior security sources.

A German security source said the 23-year-old migrant from Pakistan was known to the police for committing minor offences.

Merkel told reporters: “There is much we still do not know with sufficient certainty but we must, as things stand now, assume it was a terrorist attack.”

“I know it would be especially hard for us all to bear if it were confirmed that the person who committed this act was someone who sought protection and asylum,” she added. Agencies

France seeks to reassure on festivities
France’s government sought yesterday to reassure the public about safety during year-end festivities after a suspected militant attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, saying security forces were working round the clock to prevent such violence. French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux urged people to go out and party despite security fears, saying everything was being done to ensure protection, notably at hundreds of outdoor markets that draw millions of people into the streets at Christmas.

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