German Police Destroy Possible Explosive at Potsdam Christmas Market

German Police Destroy Possible Explosive at Potsdam Christmas Market

Police are "currently deployed to central Potsdam because a suspicious package [was found there]", the local police department said in a Twitter post.

They evacuated the area around the city centre Christmas market to examine the package.

Authorities destroyed a suspicious package at a popular Christmas market in Potsdam, Germany Friday. Potsdam police said it was too soon who may have been responsible.

But later they added that they were not sure whether it was a genuine explosive device or a dummy.

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Police evacuated a large area of Potsdam's old town center on Friday, including parts of the market, and closed stores while they investigated the package, which had been delivered to a pharmacy. Hours later, however, Interior minister of Brandenburg, Karl-Heinz Schroeter, reported that y had found nails inside a suspect metal container as well as a white powder, but that y should still determine if re were also explosive substances.

In that case, a Tunisian man hijacked a truck and drove it into a crowded market, killing 12 people in an attack that was later claimed by the Islamic State group.

A temporary memorial to the victims of last year's attack is set to be replaced by a permanent one on December 19, at the historic Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on the site of the market that was attacked.

Christmas markets opened across Germany on Monday at the start of the holiday season, fortified with security staff and concrete barriers to protect shoppers.

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