Washington, Dec 20: World leaders have condemned an incident in Berlin in which a truck ploughed into a Christmas market, killing 12 people. The motive of the incident remains unknown. Police have begun investigations which point to a possible terrorist attack.
The White House National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement,''The United States condemns in the strongest terms what appears to have been a terrorist attack on a Christmas Market in Berlin, Germany, which has killed and wounded dozens. We send our thoughts and prayers to the families and loved ones of those killed, just as we wish a speedy recovery to all of those wounded. We also extend our heartfelt condolences to the people and Government of Germany. We have been in touch with German officials, and we stand ready to provide assistance as they recover from and investigate this horrific incident. Germany is one of our closest partners and strongest allies, and we stand together with Berlin in the fight against all those who target our way of life and threaten our societies.''
German President Joachim Gauck said in a statement that it was an "awful evening for Berlin and for our country" German Chancellor Angela Merkel said through her spokesman that she was mourning the dead. "We mourn the dead and hope that the many people injured can be helped," her spokesman Steffen Seibert tweeted. "We are in mourning," said German vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. "Our thoughts are with the victims in Berlin and their relatives."
US president-elect Donald Trump also labelled the incident a "horrifying terror attack" and said "Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians."
Meanwhile, French leaders expressed their solidarity with Germany. President Francois Hollande said the French people "share in the mourning of the Germans in the face of this tragedy that has hit all of Europe".
Security has been beefed up at Christmas markets throughout France and Czech Republic following the carnage in Berlin.