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Italy deplores Berlin Christmas market attack

20 dicembre 2016 | 14.08
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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Italy's foreign minister Angelino Alfano has condemned Monday's truck attack on a busy Christmas market in the German capital Berlin that killed twelve people and injured 48 others.

“I was deeply struck and grieved at the news of this evening’s despicable attack in Berlin and I express my deepest-felt condolences and my warmest sympathy to the German government," Angelino said.

"We are close to the German people in this sorrowful moment, which should instead be of joy and peace as we approach the Christmas festivities,” added the statement issued late Monday.

A Polish-registered truck loaded with steel beams ploughed through wooden huts and stands packed with tourists and locals at the popular market at Breitscheidplatz, near west Berlin's main Kurfurstendamm shopping street.

A 23-year-old Pakistani asylum-seeker named Naved B was detained by police shortly after the attack on suspicion of having driven the truck through the market, according to German reports citing security sources.

The man in custody has denied any role in the attack and Berlin's police chief said on Tuesday it was not clear he was the truck driver.

A Polish man, believed to be the original driver was found shot dead on the passenger seat, Germany’s interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said.

The identities and nationalities of the other eleven victims are not yet known, due to Germany's strict privacy laws.

Monday's incident has drawn international condemnation and comes after the deadly lorry attack against Bastille Day crowds in the southern French coastal city of Nice on 14 July which was claimed by IS.

The Bastille Day attack killed 86 people and injured 434.

Both IS and al-Qaeda have urged their followers to use trucks to attack crowds.

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