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Berlin lorry attack: one of the dead 'had been shot'

Berlin lorry attack: one of the dead 'had been shot'
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By Alasdair Sandford with Reuters
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A regional interior minister has reportedly said a Polish national found dead in the lorry used in the Christmas market attack had been shot.

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Reports from Berlin say the Polish national found dead at the scene after a lorry ploughed into a Christmas market on Monday night had been shot.

German magazine Focus Online quoted the interior minister for the state of Brandenburg Karl Schroeter as saying that the victim was most likely the Polish man who usually drives the truck. He added that the man was a victim, not a perpetrator.

Police said earlier that the man found dead in the lorry was a Polish citizen and had not been in control of the vehicle.

The owner of the Polish company whose lorry caused the carnage said he believed his driver – also his cousin – was not guilty and that the truck had been hijacked.

“He has been a driver for 15 years, an experienced truck driver for many years, and a normal one. I can guarantee the one who was in Berlin city centre was not my driver. They must have done something to him,” Ariel Zurawski said.

“His phone didn’t answer… his wife couldn’t get through to him,” he added.

German police are investigating reports that the vehicle had been stolen from a construction site. It was due to have delivered a consignment of steel in Berlin.

After the past year’s attacks in Europe the US had issued an alert for travellers. The British Foreign Office has now warned of a “high threat from terrorism” with the possibility of indiscriminate attacks.

In Berlin Christmas markets remain closed on Tuesday out of respect for the victims.

Other markets and events in the country will not be closed down; the German government says security will now be increased.

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