Angela Merkel says Christmas market assault likely 'terror act'

| Updated: Dec 20, 2016 22:19 IST

Berlin [Germany], Dec. 20 (ANI): German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday said that authorities believe that the Berlin Christmas market assault was a "terrorist" attack likely committed by an asylum seeker. "According to what we know, we have to assume this was a terrorist attack. I know it will be especially hard for us to take if it is confirmed that the person who committed this attack sought protection and asylum in Germany," Merkel told reporters. As per the recent reports in the German media, a man arrested under suspicion of ploughing a seven-tonne truck through a Christmas market in the heart of Berlin, killing 12, has been named as Naved B, a 23-year-old asylum seeker of Pakistani origin. However, there is no official confirmation about the same. Berlin's public radio station RBB-Inforadio reported that the suspect was a Pakistani citizen who entered Germany on December 31, 2015, citing an unnamed security source. News agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), also citing unnamed security sources, reported that he came to Germany as a refugee in February 2016. Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper reported that the man was known to police for minor crimes. The recent attack was similar to an attack in Nice in July where 86 people were killed by a truck driven by a terrorist inspired by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The attack leaves Merkel in a vulnerable position as she has faced a furious backlash over her open-doors policy on immigration. (ANI)