Merkel Designates Berlin Crash as 'Terrorist Attack'

World | December 20, 2016, Tuesday // 13:27
Bulgaria: Merkel Designates Berlin Crash as 'Terrorist Attack' File photo, EPA/BGNES

German Chancellor has said that authorities have to assume they are "dealing with a terrorist attack", given the information available in the first hours after a lorry veered into a Christmas market in central Berlin.

The deed will be "as severely punished" as allowed by the law, she has added.

In a five-minute statement, the Chancellor has admitted that if reports the perpetrator had asked for protection and asylum are confirmed, "this would be particularly repugnant, against the backdrop of lots of Germans who have dedicated themselves to helping refugees," Der Spiegel quotes her as saying.

It would also be an insult to those "who actually need our protection", she has added.
 
However, she has also warned "little is known with certainty" about what happened, according to the Guardian.

Merkel has also made it clear she has "great trust in the men and women that have worked... on solving this heinous deed."

German newspaper Die Welt reports the suspect, named as Naved B from Pakistan, had a temporary residence permit since June 2016.

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Tags: Angela Merkel, terrorism, Berlin attack
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