Truck rams German Christmas market, killing at least 9

Police say a suspect, believed to be the driver, was arrested nearby

A truck rammed into a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin on Monday evening, killing at least nine people as it tore through tables and wooden stands. Many others were injured. Police said a suspect believed to be the driver was arrested nearby and a passenger was dead.

The vehicle crashed into the market outside the capital’s popular Christmas market at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. AP Television footage showed a large Scania truck with its windshield smashed out on the sidewalk alongside the market, with a swarm of ambulances nearby. A large Christmas tree with a gold star on top was toppled over nearby in the street, and tree branches were crushed under the truck’s tires.

Police said they were still investigating whether the crash was deliberate. But it came less than a month after a U.S. State Department calling for caution in markets and other public places, saying extremist groups including Islamic State and al-Qaida were focusing “on the upcoming holiday season and associated events.”

Islamic State and al-Qaida have both called on followers to use trucks in particular to attack public places. On July 14, a truck plowed into a Bastille Day crowd in the southern French city of Nice, killing 86 people. Islamic State claimed responsibility for that attack, which was carried out by a Tunisian living in France.

Mike Fox, a tourist from Birmingham, England, told The Associated Press at the scene in Berlin that the large truck missed him by about three meters as it drove into the market, tearing through tables and wooden stands.

“It was definitely deliberate,” Fox said. Fox said he helped people who appeared to have broken limbs, and that others were trapped under Christmas stands.

Federal prosecutors, who handle terrorism cases, took over the investigation, according to German Justice Minister Heiko Maas, who said in a tweet “we are mourning with the relatives” of the victims. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere gave no indication in a statement whether authorities believe the crash was an attack.

Dozens of ambulances lined the streets waiting to evacuate people, and heavily armed police patrolled the area. Police on Twitter urged people to stay away from the area, saying they need to keep the streets clear for the rescue vehicles.

Police spokesman Winfried Wenzel told ZDF public television that the suspect believed to be the driver was arrested nearby, but offered no further details.

__

David Rising, Geir Moulson and Frank Jordans in Berlin, and Lori Hinnant in Paris, contributed to this report.

Kirsten Grieshaber, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Broombusters seeks volunteers

Group says the invasive Scotch broom continues to be a problem

Coming Up in Cowichan

From truffle hunting to a night learning about Koksilah water, there’s lots coming up in Cowichan

B.C. Seniors on tap at Glen Harper Curling Centre

Wes Craig’s Duncan Curling Club rink is carrying the hometown hopes as… Continue reading

New group from Mesachie Lake want answers on fire department

Mesachie Lake Citizens speak to CVRD’s board

VIDEO: Adage Dancers show their skills in Winter Highlights show

With everything from hip hop to ballet, the evening offered something for every taste.

Coming up in Cowichan: Irrigation; Palestinian children; fun with fungi

The Cowichan Watershed Board is presenting a free efficient irrigation workshop

The way government learn someone has died is getting a digital overhaul

Governments in Canada turned to private consultants 2 years ago to offer blueprint

Bobsleigh team misses Olympic medal finish

Canadian team finishes four-man event 0.84 seconds behind first place, 0.31 seconds from podium

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Minor injuries after car veers into Courtenay dance studio

A driver and passenger were taken to hospital after their vehicle crashed… Continue reading

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

Most Read