Twelve people have been confirmed dead, up to 50 are injured and an attacker is reportedly on the run after a truck ploughed into a crowd at a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany. German authorities have officially dubbed the attack an act of terrorism. The truck crashed last night local time, near the fashionable Kurfuerstendamm avenue in Breitscheidplatz in western Berlin.
German media said police on the ground had said first indications suggest the crash was an attack.
An attacker is on the run, the German press agency DPA and Bild newspaper said citing an official.
Berlin Police also said many college students were among the victims. Numerous destroyed Christmas market stands could be seen near the Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church.
A reporter for the Berliner Morgenpost described it as a “gruesome scene”. Police with machine guns have been deployed to the area, images show.
Several police cars could also be seen heading towards the centre of the city. Berlin Police have also urged nearby residents to “Stay at home and spread no rumours”, issuing the warning via Twitter.
Security has been increased at many of Germany’s famous Christmas markets this year, according to a recent DPA survey of the markets, which attract local and foreign visitors.