12 killed, 48 injured in Berlin truck attack

Berlin police are investigating whether Monday's attack at a Christmas market in the German capital was terror-related.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The site where a truck ploughed through a crowd at a Christmas market on Breitscheidplatz square near the fashionable Kurfuerstendamm avenue in the west of Berlin, Germany, December 19, 2016.

Updated Dec 20, 2016

At least 12 people were killed and 48 injured when a truck ploughed into a crowd at a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday evening.

One suspect was taken into custody and another person in the truck died as it crashed into a crowd of people at the market.

An investigation is underway to find out whether the incident was terror-related.

Berlin police on Tuesday tweeted that the truck was "intentionally" steered into the crowd.  

German officials stated that there was no indication of "further dangerous situations in the city near Breitscheidplatz," where the attack took place.

Social media carried messages from witnesses.

"I just saw this huge black truck speeding through the markets crushing so many people and then all the lights went out and everything was destroyed," an eyewitness, Trisha O'Neill, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

I could hear screaming and then we all froze. Then suddenly people started to move and lift all the wreckage off people, trying to help whoever was there.

O'Neill added that there was "blood and bodies everywhere."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacted quickly to the tragedy, with spokesperson Steffen Seibert tweeting: "We mourn the dead and hope that the many people injured can be helped."

The arrival of 890,000 refugees last year has polarised Germany and misgivings run particularly deep in the ex-communist east, even more so following a series of Daesh-linked attacks in Europe that were carried out by asylum-seekers.

The incident occurred five months after an attack in France when a Tunisian-born man, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, drove a 19-tonne truck along the beachfront in Nice, mowing down people who had gathered to watch the fireworks on Bastille Day, killing 86 people.

Daesh claimed the Nice attack.


TRTWorld and agencies