The German police are investigating a probable terrorist strike after a truck rammed into a crowded Christmas market in Central Berlin on Monday morning. 12 people were killed and 48 injured in the attack that has been claimed by the ISIS.
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. Meanwhile reports also suggested that the suspect was either an Afghan or Pakistani asylum seeker. He is reported to have arrived in Germany in February as a refugee. He is said to have been known to the police for minor crimes, but not for terror links, reports also state.
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 windshield smashed. It may be recalled that both the ISIS and the Al Qaeda had called upon its followers to use trucks as mowing machines.
On July 14 a truck ploughed into a Bastille Day crowd in the French city of Nice killing 86 people. The ISIS 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 ISIS 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.