Potsdam Christmas market bomb alarm prompts more police patrols | News | DW | 02.12.2017
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Potsdam Christmas market bomb alarm prompts more police patrols

Police are boosting their presence at Christmas markets in the eastern state of Brandenburg after a bomb scare. Authorities have, however, said the market may not have been the package's target.

Christmas markets in the eastern German state of Brandenburg reopened as usual on Saturday following a bomb scare Friday in the state capital, Potsdam.

However, police will be stepping up their patrols at the markets throughout the state and "particularly in Potsdam," a police spokesperson said.

Police are still looking for the person who sent a package containing a metal cylinder, nails, powder and a large firework to a pharmacy next to the market in Potsdam city center, triggering an evacuation of the entire nearby area for several hours.

Continuing threat

The state chairman of the police union in Brandenburg, Andreas Schuster, told public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk on Saturday that the package, which was disposed of in a controlled explosion by police, had probably been a fake bomb.

"No explosives were found," he said.

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A police spokesperson said the package did not contain a detonator.

It remains unclear whether the "attack" targeted the Christmas market or the pharmacy itself.

"According to evidence so far, our investigators think it is rather unlikely that the Christmas market was the target," Potsdam police tweeted.

 

Security at Germany's famous Christmas markets has already been stepped up following a terrorist attack in the German capital, Berlin, almost a year ago in which 12 people died and more than 60 injured when a man drove a truck into a crowd of market visitors.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Monday that the markets remained a potential target for radical Islamists.

"The danger in Europe and thus in Germany as well continues to be high," he said.

Christmas markets opened across Germany on Monday. As part of heightened security measures, barriers have been set up at access points, either in the form of parked vehicles or cement blocks.

tj/sms (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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