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Living with fear: Berlin Christmas market evacuated due to suspicion of terrorism

New terror fear in Berlin. The Berlin police cleared the Christmas market in Breitscheidplatz on Saturday evening due to the urgent suspicion of another terrorist attack.

It was originally reported that two Islamist perpetrators were arrested. However, there was an error in the name comparison of one of the two men: the officials initially assumed that the man was being searched for.

It was only after more than two hours that the all-clear was given: the police had found a similarity in the name, but no match. The suspicion that one of the men was being sought with an arrest warrant has not been confirmed.

At first, it was said that the two suspects were a Syrian from North Rhine-Westphalia and a fellow countryman who was being searched for by an international arrest warrant.

In view of the location where there was a terrorist attack with twelve deaths and dozens injured three years ago, the police "reacted sensitively," said the police spokesman. The police said it was deployed with 350 officers and sniffer dogs.

As part of the police investigation, train traffic at the nearby Zoologischer Garten station was also discontinued. The stop at this station is canceled until further notice - this applies to the S-Bahn lines S3, S5 and S7.

After the Christmas market was cleared, an event in the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church also ended. The Bach Choir had traditionally performed the Christmas Oratorio here. The police said that all visitors had left the Christmas market "calmly and prudently". The site is currently being searched.

A concert visitor to Bild: “Some have just dressed. We just had a mulled wine and stood on the Tauentzienstrasse, where they started to clear, and were driven towards Hardenbergstrasse.”

On December 19, 2016, the Islamist assassin Anis Amri had committed an attack on precisely this Christmas market and had rushed into the visitors of the market in a hijacked truck. Twelve people died in the attack.


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