UPDATED: Police review UK security after Berlin Christmas market ‘attack’

Scotland Yard says it is reviewing its security plans for public events after a lorry “attack” in Berlin killed 12 people. The Metropolitan Police said it already had “detailed plans” in place for the festive period but was reviewing them “as a precaution”, BBC News reported. Greater Manchester Police also said it would step up patrols.

The UK threat level has not been raised by security services following the attacks, but stands at “severe”, meaning an attack is believed to be highly likely. “As a matter of routine, as a precaution, we review our plans after attacks overseas, and we are doing so at present following the awful incidents in Berlin and Ankara last night,” a statement from Scotland Yard said. Police in Germany have said the incident was “probably a terrorist attack”.

The incident, which left a further 48 people injured, occurred yesterday evening at Breitscheidplatz, close to the Kurfuerstendamm, in the heart of the German capital. The truck was loaded with steel beams, and veered into the market at 8.14pm – one of its busiest times – crashing through wooden huts and stands which were filled with tourists and locals. Police have said the lorry drove 50-80 metres through the market area.

In a statement on Twitter Berlin Police added: “All police measures related to the suspected terrorist attack at Breitscheidplatz are progressing at full steam and with the necessary diligence,” The driver has been detained, with security sources reportedly describing him as either an Afghan or Pakistani national, who is understood to have arrived in the country in February as a refugee. Local news reports said the man was known to police for minor crimes, but not for terror links, the BBC said.

In the immediate aftermath German politicians avoided labelling the attack as a terrorist incident, but the country’s interior minister announced this morning: “There are many things pointing to one”. British tourist Mike Fox, who was at the scene told Associated Press that the lorry had missed him by only around three metres. He added that it was “definitely deliberate”.

In a statement easyJet said its schedule to and from Berlin was “operating as normal”. It added that it would “closely monitor the situation if circumstances change.” The FCO advised British tourists to “avoid the area and follow the advice of local authorities”.

The incident has parallels with the lorry attack in the French city of Nice on Bastille Day, which left 86 people dead.

That attack was claimed by Islamic State.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *