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Published on : Tuesday, December 20, 2016
On Monday evening, a truck had crashed into a giant crowd at the Berlin Christmas market, claiming the lives of 12 people and injuring as many as 48 others. The interior minister of Germany has hinted that the incident actually seems to resemble an attack.
The police officials have said on a social media platform that they had managed to take one of the suspects into custody.
They have added that another passenger from the truck has died after it ploughed into the massive crowed that was gathered around the wooden huts. These huts were serving sausages and mulled wine at the foot of the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church that is situated in the heart of the former West Berlin.
Police said that the nationality of the suspected driver was unclear. The driver had tried to flee from the scene of the incident but was later nabbed by the police.
One of the tourists named Emma Rushton said that the people had suddenly heard a loud bang. And, the next thing they saw was the top of a truck crashing into the stalls, mowing down the people on its way.
Thomas de Maiziere, the interior minister said that the circumstances of the truck crash was yet to be clear.
And, he has also said that though he was not completely certain that the truck crashing incident was an attack, he felt that it actually indicates a possibility of being one.
The incident is strikingly similar to an attack that had taken place in Nice, France in July 2016 wherein a 19-tonne truck came crashing along the beach front, mowing down the people who had assembled to watch the fireworks on Bastille Day. The incident killed 86 people and the Islamic State claimed the attack.
Donald Trump, the US President condemned the attack and linked it to Islamic terrorists before German police had said who was responsible.
In the recent years, Germany has not suffered a large-scale attack from the Islamic militants like those that were observed in France and Belgium.
Having said that, Germany was struck by two smaller attacks during the summer, in Bavaria. One of the incidents took place on a train close to Wuerzburg and yet another at a music festival in Ansbach that had wounded 20 people. Both these attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State.
This incident is likely to have an impact on travellers planning trips to Berlin or any other place in Europe for celebrating Christmas or New Year. Therefore, travellers should heed to warnings from authorities and listen to advice from the local inhabitants regarding safety concerns.
However, several tourists would also be eager to cancel their trips to these places or might even want to postpone their trips.
It is probable that German Railways, Ryanair, British Airways and easyJet might offer travellers the chance to obtain a refund or change their destination. Having said that, they are under no legal obligation to do so.
The Foreign Office said that these attacks are likely to target the Turkish state, demonstrations and civilians. However, the attacks might also target tourists from western countries.