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Friday, December 23, 2016
Berlin Christmas Market Attacker Shot Dead in Milan
Berlin attack suspect confirmed dead after Milan shootout – Italian interior minister
Italian Police officers work next to the body of Anis Amri, the suspect in the Berlin Christmas market truck attack, in a suburb of the northern Italian city of Milan, Italy December 23, 2016. © Stringer / Reuters
Anis Amri, a Tunisian national wanted throughout Europe after the truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, was killed by the Italian Police during a shootout in Milan, the country’s interior minister has confirmed.
Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti has confirmed that Anis Amri, wanted after the truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market, was killed during a shootout with police officers in the suburbs of Milan on Friday.
Minniti told a news conference in Rome that “without any shadow of a doubt” the man was Amri, whose identity has been confirmed by fingerprints.
The minister said the officers were on routine patrol and stopped Amri in a Milan suburb on Friday morning. The man pulled out a pistol and opened fire, injuring one of the officers, but was shot dead as the patrol returned fire. Minniti did not elaborate on the issue, adding that his agency is in contact with the Germans, and further developments may come soon.
Peter Frank, Germany’s federal prosecutor, told reporters later on Friday that the investigation is far from over. Investigators will focus on uncovering Amri’s contacts to determine if he had accomplices or was a member of a terrorist network.
He added that it is also crucial to know how Amri had got to Italy despite suggestions that his injuries would have prevented him from covering long distances.
Meanwhile, Milan police say they had received no information warning them that Amri could be in the city, according to Reuters.
“We had no intelligence that he could be in Milan,” Police Chief Antonio De Iesu said at a news conference. “They had no perception that it could be him, otherwise they would have been much more cautious.”
Earlier on Friday, Italian authorities said Amri was killed in a shootout with police in Milan on Thursday night, according to Reuters, citing a security source. The surprise report first appeared in the Italian magazine Panorama.
Conflicting news reports previously suggested the opposite. The German Police claimed that the suspect was hiding in Berlin. On Thursday, RBB released CCTV footage showing him at a local mosque one day after the attack. The police said Amri was injured, and therefore would not risk travelling too far.
But then, Berlin Police have botched this case right from the start. De Maiziere need to investigate how badly this file was handled.
On Friday, a man whose appearance matched that of the suspect was spotted in the northern Danish city of Aalborg, local police said in a tweet. According to police, the man, aged between 20 and 30, was “wearing a black hat, glasses, black beard and was unshaven.”
Police warned people to keep away from the area where he was spotted.
Investigators believe that Tunisian suspect Anis Amri was indeed behind the wheel of the truck that plowed into the Christmas market in Berlin on Monday, killing 12 and injuring 48. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that fingerprints and other “new evidence” made it “highly probable” that Amri was the actual perpetrator of the Monday attack.