A large truck has stormed through a Christmas market in the German capital of Berlin killing nine people and injuring many others. One person has been arrested.
UPDATE 21:22 EST — According to the latest AP report, 12 people are dead and nearly 50 injured from the truck smashing into the victims at a Christmas market in Germany. Police said a suspect believed to be the driver was arrested nearby and a passenger died as paramedics were treating him.
UPDATE 19:15 EST — President-elect Donald Trump condemned the attack in a statement from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida:
“Our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims of today’s horrifying terror attack in Berlin.
Innocent civilians were murdered in the streets as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday.
ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad.
These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners.”
UPDATE 19:00 EST — The White House has condemned the Berlin attack through National Security Council spokesman Ned Price:
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms what appears to have been a terrorist attack on a Christmas Market in Berlin, Germany, which has killed and wounded dozens.
We send our thoughts and prayers to the families and loved ones of those killed, just as we wish a speedy recovery to all of those wounded.
We also extend our heartfelt condolences to the people and Government of Germany.
We have been in touch with German officials, and we stand ready to provide assistance as they recover from and investigate this horrific incident.
Germany is one of our closest partners and strongest allies, and we stand together with Berlin in the fight against all those who target our way of life and threaten our societies.”
UPDATE 18:55 EST — Die Welt is reporting that the driver of the truck is “said to have come to Germany as a refugee,” although the article does not elaborate on where that information comes from.
See the entire article below.
UPDATE 18:15 EST — The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Berlin attack, according to an analysis of several online jihadist networks by the anti-ISIS Iraqi Popular Mobilization Force. However, some other analysts say the Iraqi group is premature with that declaration, and a formal claim of responsibility should be awaited from tradition ISIS communications outlets.
The UK Sun reports that Facebook has activated a “Safety Check” feature that allows people to tell friends and family they are safe. The Sun notes that Facebook’s initial statement on the Safety Check activation referred to an “attack” in Berlin, but this was later changed to read “violent incident.”
UPDATE 17:35 EST — Die Welt has made a correction and now believes that the man arrested was not of Chechen origin but is Pakistani.
UPDATE 17:24 EST — German paper Die Welt claims that the man arrested by police is of Chechen origin. The National Criminal Police Office (LKA) say that the dead passenger may have either died during the incident or may have been shot beforehand.
UPDATE 17:18 EST — French Front Nationale politician Marion Le Pen has expressed solidarity with the German people via Twitter and has called the incident an “Islamic terror attack.”
UPDATE 17:08 EST — According to messages received by Breitbart Jerusalem over the encrypted Telegram app, supports of the Islamic State have celebrated the deaths of the nine Berliners in what they regard as an “attack.”
UPDATE 16:50 EST — Berlin Police have released a statement indicating that they believe the incident could be an attack or an accident. “We do not have any clear indications, either in one direction or the other,” a spokesman said but insisted the situation was now safe.
UPDATE 16:32 EST — Ariel Zurawski, a Polish man who is said to own the truck used in the attack has claimed via Polish TV channel TVN24 that he lost contact with the driver, also his cousin, around noon local time. Zurawski claimed that he could not see his cousin as having committed the attack and thought it likely he had been hijacked.
UPDATE 16:22 EST — Anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) MEP Marcus Pretzell has blamed German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the attacks via Twitter and questioned when the German rule of law would strike back at terrorists. “When this damned hypocrisy finally stop?” he wrote.
UPDATE 15:42 EST — A passenger has reportedly been found dead in the truck.
PICTURES FROM THE SCENE:
Police and firefighters are standing around the site next to the Gedächniskirche church (background) where a truck crashed into a christmas market in Berlin, on December 19, 2016 killing at least nine people and injuring at least 50 people. / AFP / John MACDOUGANine Dead as Truck Plows Through Berlin Christmas Market
BERLIN, GERMANY – DECEMBER 19: Rescue workers arrive to the area after a lorry truck plowed through a Christmas market on December 19, 2016 in Berlin, Germany.
Several people have died while dozens have been injured as police investigate the attack at a market outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on the Kurfuerstendamm and whether it is linked to a terrorist plot. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
UPDATE 15:36 EST — A potential suspect has been arrested with the police saying the suspect was taken into custody close to the Tiergarten [park] which is home to the Berlin Zoo. The suspect is believed to be the truck driver.
UPDATE 15:34 EST — In a tweet, Berlin police have urged people to “stay at home & spread no rumors” after the truck attack.