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LIVE: Twelve dead as truck hits Berlin Christmas market in 'probable terrorist attack'

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LIVE: Twelve dead as truck hits Berlin Christmas market in 'probable terrorist attack'
Photo: DPA
20:44 CET+01:00
Twelve people have died and 48 were injured after a truck drove into a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday night.

We are shutting down the live updates. Here's what we know so far:

- A large truck drove into a crowded Christmas market in west Berlin at around 8.30pm on Monday evening.

- So far twelve people have been confirmed dead, and 48 have been injured.

- Police confirmed they believe it was deliberate and have caught the man they say was the driver of he truck. A passenger died at the scene.

- Authorities have told Berliners to stay at home, while also reassuring people that the situation is now under control.

8.02am Police have now said they are treating the incident as "a probable terrorist attack". 

6.30am: Berlin police said early on Tuesday that they believed the truck was steered into the crowd "intentionally".   

"Our investigators assume that the truck was intentionally steered into the crowd at the Christmas market," police said in a Twitter message.

10.51pm: Media are reporting that the truck belonged to a Polish company. The driver of the truck is a cousin of the company owner, Polish media report. They also speculate that the truck was stolen from him, according to broadcaster n-tv.

10.48pm: French President Francois Hollande has sent a message of “solidarity and compassion” to Chancellor Merkel. 

“The French people share Germans’ sorrow in the face of this tragedy that affects all of Europe,” he said in a statement.
 
France was hit by an attack on Bastille Day, when a truck drove into a crowd in Nice, killing 86 people. Isis claimed responsibility for the attack. 

10.39pm: Berlin police said Monday there was no indication of other "dangerous situations" in the city after a truck ploughed into a Christmas market, killing at least nine.

"Currently, there are no indications of further dangerous situations in the city near Breitscheidplatz," the central square where the suspected attack took place, police in the German capital tweeted.

10.35pm: Police tell AFP man arrested was driver:  "A man who was apparently driving the truck was detained," a police spokeswoman told AFP. "The person riding in the vehicle is dead."

Facebook also has an option for people to tell friends and acquaintances that they are safe.

10.32 pm: The Christmas market in the west of Berlin is not one that our staff are acquainted with, but the official Berlin page described it as having around 100 stands and 70 fairground rides, suggesting it os one of the larger markets in the dozens of Christmas markets in the capital. 

10.15pm: Berlin's mayor Michael Müller is at the scene, reports Bild. He described the situation as dramatic, saying his thoughts were with the families of the victims. He also assured the Berlin public that the authorities have the situation under control.

A picture of the aftermath shows the size of the truck which crashed into the market.

Photo: DPA

10.11pm: German Chancellor Angela Merkel "mourns the dead", her spokesman said.

"We mourn the dead and hope that the many people injured can be helped," her spokesman Steffen Seibert tweeted.

10.09pm: Police report that a passenger in the truck died at the scene. How he or she died is not clear.

9.56pm: from AFP- Police have detained one person after a truck crashed into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing at least nine people and injuring many more in what they called a possible "terror attack".

"We are investigating whether it was a terror attack but do not yet know what was behind it," a police spokesman told AFP. "One person was detained. The cab of the truck was found empty."

Police are currently trying to establish whether the person they detained was the driver.

9.54pm: DPA reports that The suspected attack took place beside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (Gedächtniskirche).

The black truck drove into the busy market, smashing a number of stalls before coming to a halt near the church, on Budapester Straße. The driver fled towards Berlin Zoo in the immediate aftermath of the rampage.

9.51pm: Police are asking people to stay away from the area of Breitscheidplatz saying that they need all the roads they can for ambulances.

9.42pm: Police are telling people to stay home and not to spread any rumours about the attack.

9.40pm: Tabloid BZ reports that police have captured a suspect.

The attack was on a Christmas market in  Breitscheidplatz next to the Ku'damm, arguably the most famous shopping mile in Germany, situated in the upmarket Charlottenburg district of west Berlin. 

It is also below one of the most famous sites in the city, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the spire of which was never repaired after being hit in a Second World War bombing raid.

At 9.10pm police confirmed that nine people had been killed in the suspected attack. 

The truck drove into a Christmas market on Breitscheidplatz in the central Charlottenburg district., the local Berliner Zeitung newspaper reports.

In a tweet at 8.41pm, Berlin police said: 

"A truck just drove over the pavement on Breitscheidplatz. Our colleagues are reporting injuries." 

 

 

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