Berlin: According to police, one person was killed and at least 12 were injured when a man drove into a crowd, including teenagers, in a busy shopping district in central Berlin on Wednesday. According to police spokesman Thilo Cablitz, the driver was temporarily detained by a passerby and then handed over to police after the car broke through the storefront.

It was not clear if the crash was intentional. Police told AFP that a driver, a 29-year-old German-Armenian man, was being questioned. “Of the 12 or more injured, some are seriously injured,” Cablitz said. Fire Department spokesman Adrian Wensel said eight people were taken to the hospital and five were in a life-threatening situation.

The German government was “extremely concerned and shocked” by the “terrible incident in Berlin,” a spokesman said, adding that their thoughts were on the victims and their loved ones. The incident occurred around 10:30 am (Greenwich Mean Time 0830), directly opposite Brightsheedplatz. There, sympathizers from an Islamic State group cultivated a truck at a Christmas market in 2016, killing 12 people.

The silver Renault Clio, with its Berlin license plate, first installed sidewalks on the corners of Tawenzien and Ranke streets before returning to the road, mostly attacking groups of teens. After that, I plunged into the storefront of Marburger Street, about 150-200 meters (165-220 yards) away.

“It happened so fast”

On-site witness Frank Witchen told AFP that he was sitting in a nearby fountain when he “saw a person flying in the sky after hearing a big collision.” The vehicle “dried at high speeds on paved roads and did not brake,” he said, and the impact shattered the windows. “It all happened so fast,” he said. Another unnamed witness told AFP that the people who hit the car included a group of 15-16 years old and two teachers were among the injured.

British-American actor John Barrowman posted a series of videos from the scene on Twitter. “When we were in the store, I heard a bang and a crash, then we came out, and we just saw the genocide,” he said. Germany has been very wary of car ramming since the deadly assault on the Christmas markets in 2016, most of which are done by people who have been found to have psychological problems. ..

In December 2020, a German man drove through a pedestrian shopping street in the southwestern city of Trier, killing four adults and one baby. Earlier in the same year, a German man slammed a carnival procession in the center of Volkmarsen, injuring dozens of bystanders, including children. He was sentenced to life imprisonment last year. In January 2019, another German man injured eight people when he drove into a crowd on New Year’s Eve in the western cities of Bottrop and Essen. He later received psychiatric care.

In April 2018, a German struck a van against people sitting outside a restaurant in the city of Munster, killing five and then committing suicide. Investigators later said he had mental health problems. At the 2006 Soccer World Cup in Germany, a German man hit a crowd gathered to watch a match at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, injuring about 20 people. The driver was later admitted to a mental hospital. – AFP

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