Tunisian man suspect as IS claims Berlin X'mas attack

Updated: Dec 22, 2016, 11:20 IST | Agencies

The German police are looking for a Tunisian man after finding an identity document under the driver’s seat of the truck that ploughed into a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12 people, on Monday evening, news website Spiegel Online reported

Police officers patrol a Christmas market near the city hall in Berlin on Wednesday. Pic/AP/PTI
Police officers patrol a Christmas market near the city hall in Berlin on Wednesday. Pic/AP/PTI

Berlin: The German police are looking for a Tunisian man after finding an identity document under the driver’s seat of the truck that ploughed into a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12 people, on Monday evening, news website Spiegel Online reported.

The document was in the name of Anis Amir., born in the city of Tataouine in 1992. The man is also believed to use false names, it said.

A serviceman patrols the Groote Markt on the sidelines of ‘winter wonders’ Christmas market, in Brussels. Pic/AFP
A serviceman patrols the Groote Markt on the sidelines of ‘winter wonders’ Christmas market, in Brussels. Pic/AFP

Daily newspaper Bild reported he was known to the police as a possibly dangerous individual and part of a large Islamist network.

The police had initially arrested a Pakistani asylum-seeker near the scene but released him without charge on Tuesday. Authorities have warned that the attacker is on the run and may be armed. It is not clear if the perpetrator was acting alone or with others.

Police officers patrol at the Christmas market next to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims, in Reims. Pic/AFP
Police officers patrol at the Christmas market next to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims, in Reims. Pic/AFP

The 25-tonne truck, belonging to a Polish freight company, smashed into wooden huts serving mulled wine and sausages, injuring about 45 people.

The Polish driver of the truck was found shot dead in the cabin of the vehicle. Bild reported that he was alive until the attack took place. It quoted an investigator as saying there must have been a struggle with the attacker, who may have been injured.

A mourner places a candle at a makeshift memorial near the church in Berlin on Wednesday pic/afp; (inset) suspect Anis Amir
A mourner places a candle at a makeshift memorial near the church in Berlin on Wednesday pic/afp; (inset) suspect Anis Amir

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

Head of the Association of German Criminal Detectives Andre Schulz told German television late on Tuesday that the police hoped to make another arrest soon. “I am confident that we will perhaps tomorrow or in the near future be able to present a new suspect,” he said.

British Police to close some roads around Buckingham Palace after Germany attack
The British police said they would temporarily close roads around Queen Elizabeth’s London residence Buckingham Palace during a military ceremony yesterday, bringing forward plans to do so in response to a truck attack in Berlin. London’s Metropolitan Police said they would trial a two-hour road closure plan for three months to protect the large crowds that gather on days when the Changing of the Guard ceremony is held outside the palace.

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