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Italy deports Tunisian with links to Berlin market attacker Anis Amri

The expelled man's phone number was allegedly found in the contact list of Amri, who killed 12 people in December. Italy says it has deported 153 suspected religious extremists since 2015.

Italy expelled a Tunisian man allegedly linked to Berlin market attacker Anis Amri, the Italian interior ministry announced on Sunday.

In a statement, the ministry said the 37-year-old man was flown to capital city Tunis, but did not identify him or say when he was expelled.

The document added that the man was in contact with Anis Amri, the Tunisian terrorist who drove a truck into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin in 2016, killing 12 people and injuring 56 others.

It said the expelled man's telephone number was found among the contacts of Amri. It also linked his number to a Facebook profile supporting jihadist ideology and connected with supporters of the so-called "Islamic State," which claimed responsibility for the Berlin attack.

The ministry said the man was living in Latina, south of Rome, and associated there with "radical" companions who opposed the moderate imam at the local mosque. Amri lived near the central Italian city in 2015.

Amri came to Italy by boat in 2011 and was jailed for four years there before being ordered out of the country in 2015. Italian police shot him dead near Milan in December 2016 after the Berlin attack.

The ministry said Italy has expelled 153 people suspected of religious extremism since January 2015. This expulsion was the 21st such case this year.  

aw/jlw (AP, Reuters, KNA, dpa)

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