Published: Tuesday 20 December, 2016

Berlin Attack: Pakistani Terrorist Rams Truck into Packed Christmas Market

A ‘terrorist’ attack at a Christmas market occurred Monday. A Pakistani refugee is said to be behind the Berlin attack that has killed 12 and injured dozens.

Berlin attack

Berlin attack at Christmas market kills 12. (PHOTO: AFP/Getty Images)

The Berlin attack occurred Monday night at a packed Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz near the main shopping street in the city. A big truck loaded with steel beams plowed through the packed Christmas market at 8:14 PM local time and drove over stalls and shoppers.

A witness told the Associated Press that the act was definitely deliberate. The 25-ton truck drove through the Christmas market at speed smashing stalls and crushing people, said the British tourist. It even knocked down a huge Christmas tree at the center of the market.

It finally stopped after about 50 meters leaving a trail of destruction and carnage. People were screaming and crying, said witnesses. Some were totally quiet.

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Officials said 12 have been confirmed dead while a further 48 have been taken to hospital with injuries, some serious.

After the attack, witnesses said the driver got off the truck and randown the street towards the Tiergarten, a large public park. According to BBC news, one witness followed the suspect from a distance before calling the police, who arrested the driver near the Victory Column monument.

The driver’s identity has not been released but German media is reporting that the suspect is Pakistani, confirming suspicions that the Berlin attack was an act of terrorism. The reports said the suspect entered Germany via the Balkan refugee route. He is currently being interrogated.

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Meanwhile, a dead man was found inside the truck. He has been identified as Polish and is believed to be the driver of the truck before it was hijacked by the suspect.

A polish company which owns the truck said their driver was due to take a break in Berlin before delivering the steel beams but has not been heard from since Monday afternoon.

The Berlin attack is reminiscent of a similar truck attack in Nice, France on Bastille Day earlier this year, which killed 86 people.

The attack is seen as another blow to the reelection hopes of German chancellor Angela Merkel who is seeking a fourth term in 2017. Merkel opened Germany’s door to refugees and has since come under fire for her decision.