On Monday evening, a truck plowed into a Christmas market in Breitscheidplatz — in western Berlin — killing at least nine people injuring more than 50, according to police, as well as the Associated Press. Police stated on Twitter that the truck rammed into the popular market, which is located at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.
The police have stated that this is likely an attack, but that there is no official evidence. DPA International reports that an official investigation is under way to make that determination. ISIS, according to the Washington Times, has reportedly taken credit for the attack, but there is no word yet on whether this is directly, indirectly, or not linked to the group.
The driver of the truck was arrested only a few hundreds yards from the scene of the crime, while a passenger inside the vehicle reportedly passed away. According to Julian Reichelt, editor-in-chief at Bild, a German tabloid newspaper, one witness said the truck had a Polish license plate.
A reported witness, Emma Rushton, tweeted “Lorry just ploughed through Christmas market in #berlin. There is no road nearby. People are crushed. I am safe. I am safe.” Video footage from the scene of the crime shows stalls being knocked over, and people lying wounded on the ground.
The U.S. State Department issued a warning last month that Americans travelling or staying in Europe should be cautious in regards to the threat of terrorist attacks during the holidays. The alert specifically mentioned Christmas markets.
The deputy editor in chief of Berliner Morgenpost, Jan Hollizter, told CNN “I heard a big noise and then I moved on the Christmas market and saw much chaos… many injured people. It was really traumatic.”
This is not the only recent attack on a Christmas market in Germany — Prosecutors in Ludwigshafen said an young Iraqi male attempted to blow up a device at their local Christmas market on November 26, the Local reported. The device failed to detonate, and he tried again on December 5.
This attack is reminiscent of the attack on Nice, France, in July, where a truck also slammed into a large crowd, killing 86 people.
This post was written by Nicholas Amato.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.