A truck rammed into a popular and busy Christmas market in Central Berlin on Monday evening, tragically killing 12 people and causing injuries to nearly 50 people as it slammed through tables and wooden stands. The case is not being ruled out as mere accident but German authorities are looking at the potential that the incident was a horrendous terrorist attack.
The large Scania truck loaded with steel beams slammed into the crowded Christmas market outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. A mix of tourists and locals were at the market at the time of the unfortunate incident.
A top Germany official said that based on initial evidence, things point to an international act. A suspect believed to be the truck driver has been apprehended and arrested by authorities. A passenger of the truck died while being treated by paramedics. The truck was registered in Poland, but the Polish owner who is a cousin of the driver, said he feared his vehicle may have been hijacked.
The White House has come out with a statement condemning " what appears to have been a terrorist attack". Just last month, the U.S. State Department called for caution in markets and other places across Europe. The State Department specified the Islamic State and al-Qaida who the agency believed were focusing their attention and energy on the upcoming holiday season and other related events.
Federal prosecutors who handle terrorists acts have taken over the ongoing probe.
President-elect Donald Trump reacted to the tragedy and put the blame on Islamist terrorists. He reiterated his strong campaign pronouncement of eradicating the Islamic extremists " from the face of the earth" and vowed anew to carry out the mission with all freedom-loving partners.
Some German officials refused to conclude that the incident was intentional just yet, uncomfortable even with using the word " attack" and instead called for calm as they await the results of the investigation while requesting everyone not to engage in speculations. Marcus Pretzell, a famous member of the anti-migration Alternative for Germany, however, scored the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel and blasted: " When will the German state of law strike back? When will this cursed hypocrisy finally stop? These are Merkel's dead! #Nice # Berlin.