Only when Berlin was wrapped in the spirit of festivities, a truck loaded with steel beams veered into the Berlin Market, killing 12 and injuring 48. The suspect, a Pakistani asylum seeker who entered Germany Dec. 31, 2015, citing an unnamed security source, has been arrested by the Police. German media reports the suspect as Naved B, 23, who had acquired a temporary residence permit since 2016.
The 25-tonne lorry drove in the Berlin Christmas Market, at the busiest hours, is been reported as a ‘probable terrorist attack’ rather than an accident. The vehicle made it as far as 80 metres, around 8pm local time, into the Christmas market before it came to a halt.
The original driver of the truck, a polish man, was found dead on the passenger seat. It is believed that the driver was shot before it was stolen by the suspect. The lorry had a Polish plate and belonged to Polish delivery company ARIEL Żurawsk.
“Our investigators are working on the assumption that the truck was deliberately steered into the crowd at the Christmas market…” police said on Twitter.
The festive environment has suddenly turned into that of mourning in Berlin. “We are in mourning for the dead and hope that the many injured can get help,” Chancellor Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said after the attack.
“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” reported an eyewitness.
We all pray for Berlin and those affected by the attack.