In what authorities have termed a “probable terror attack,” twelve people were killed and 48 injured when a tractor trailer plunged into a crowd of holiday shoppers at a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday night. Among the injured was an Israeli man, whose wife, also at the attack, is still missing.
Witnesses said the driver of the truck, which was thought to have been hijacked by an asylum seeker from Afghanistan or Pakistan, did not attempt to slow down and appeared to aim intentionally for the crowds as shoppers screamed and ran.
“I just saw this huge black truck speeding through the markets crushing so many people and then all the lights went out and everything was destroyed. I could hear screaming and then we all froze. Then suddenly people started to move and lift all the wreckage off people, trying to help whoever was there,” Australian tourist Trisha O’Neill told the media.
There was “blood and bodies everywhere,” she said.
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A suspect was arrested about a mile and a half away from the crash site. He was apparently known to police, but only for minor crimes.
The Berlin bazaar was the second German Christmas market targeted by terrorists this holiday season. Earlier in the month, a 12-year-old German-Iraqi boy allegedly radicalized by ISIS was detained for attempting to place homemade bombs at the Christmas market in Ludwigshafen.
The White House quickly condemned “what appears to have been a terrorist attack.” President-elect Donald Trump immediately suggested that radical Islam, motivated by hatred of Christians, was behind the “horrifying” attack.
“Innocent civilians were murdered in the streets as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday,” he said in a statement. “ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad.”
Indeed, the attack came just a week after Egypt’s largest Christian cathedral was bombed during Sunday morning prayers, leaving 25 worshipers dead.
It is not the first time a truck has been used as an instrument of Islamic terror. In July, a Tunisian man drove a truck through a Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France, killing 84 people. In Israel, Palestinian terrorists routinely attempt to mow down victims with vehicles, and last month, a terrorist used his car to attack students at Ohio State University.