Truck Plows Into Berlin Christmas Market, Killing 12

Suspect, possibly the driver, is arrested after apparent attack
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2016 2:47 PM CST
Updated Dec 19, 2016 6:49 PM CST
At Least 9 Dead as Truck Rams Into German Market
Firefighters look at a toppled Christmas tree after a truck ran into a crowded Christmas market and killed several people in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016.   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

(Newser) – A truck plowed into a crowded Berlin Christmas market on Monday, killing 12 in what Germany has yet to declare a deliberate attack. The White House went a bit further, saying it "appears to have been a terrorist attack," and president-elect Donald Trump pushed beyond that, calling it a "horrifying terror attack" in a statement that referenced ISIS and Islamist terrorists. The Guardian reports a suspect has been arrested; authorities are trying to determine if he was the driver; a passenger died, per the BBC. The New York Times reports the truck traveled about 250 feet into the market near the landmark Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and notes the church's meaning for Germans: Its "jagged spire was bombed on World War II, but it was not rebuilt, as a reminder of the war."

The truck, which came to a stop on a sidewalk, is owned by a Polish company that says its 37-year-old driver attempted to take Thyssen steel products from Italy to Berlin, but was told by the receiving company at the drop-off location to hold tight in Berlin and unload Tuesday morning. "We lost contact with him around 3pm local time. We don’t know what happened—whether he was taken hostage, killed. We know nothing. We’re very worried about him." The AP notes the crash came less than a month after the State Department urged those visiting European markets to be cautious, as extremist groups were focusing "on the upcoming holiday season and associated events." No barriers were in place around the market. (Read more Germany stories.)

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