Berlin, Dec 20: The German police says it is unsure if the man they had in their custody was behind Monday's lorry attack at Berlin in which 12 were killed and 48 others injured. The man they had detained said during questioning that he had nothing to do with the attack.
German media reports state that a Pakistani man detained near the scene is not linked to the attack. In fact the attacker is still on the run, the media also reported. Die Welt reported while quoting a police officer said, "we have the wrong man. The real attacker is still at large and can do more harm."
The German police are investigating a probable terrorist strike after a truck rammed into a crowded Christmas market in Central Berlin on Monday morning.
The Berlin Police said on its Twitter handle that, 'All police measures related to the suspected terrorist attack at Breitscheidplatz are progressing at full steam and with the necessary diligence.' Earlier German politicians had avoided branding the incident as a terrorist attack. However Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere had told ARD Television that there are many things pointing to one.
The police also confirmed that a passenger a Polish national was found dead in the lorry. This raised fears that he may have been subject to a hijacking.
On Monday morning, a large Scania truck crashed into the market outside Berlin's popular Christmas market at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Television footage showed the truck with its wind shield smashed. It may be recalled that both the Islamic State and the Al Qaeda had called upon its followers to use trucks as mowing machines.
On July 14 a truck plowed into a Bastille Day crowd in the French city of Nice killing 86 people. The IS had claimed responsibility for the attack. The Berlin incident comes a month after a US State Department called for caution in markets and public places, stating that extremist groups such as the IS and the Al Qaeda would focus on such areas ahead of the holiday season.
Eye witnesses had said that the incident appeared to be a deliberate one. According to reports the the lorry drove 50 to 80 metres through the market area during the incident.