Explosive Device Defused at Christmas Market in Germany

A suspicious package unleashes the alert in a Christmas market in Potsdam

BREAKING: Christmas market EVACUATED as 'bomb found' – armed police on scene

Police in Potsdam, just outside Berlin, said they were alerted to a suspicious package, which after investigation they believe was a bomb.

The package, delivered to a nearby pharmacy, contained a "cylindrical object with cables, batteries, and nails".

Police are "currently deployed to central Potsdam because a suspicious package [was found there]", the local police department said in a Twitter post. Police were called and the area was evacuated.

President Trump lights United States national Christmas tree
They used about 12,000 ornaments, more than 1,000 feet of garland, and 53 Christmas trees to create this year's festive look. In a move that stunned many in Washington, cable news network CNN opted to skip this year's White House Christmas party.

Brandenburg state's top security official, Interior Minister Karl-Heinz Schroeter, said it also held a large firecracker without a fuse, Germany's dpa news agency reported on Friday night. He said it is not clear whether the package was a real weapon.

Police have now confirmed that the explosive device has now been defused.

Both the market and the surrounding area have been evacuated as special forces investigate. The incident left 12 people dead and dozens more injured.

Gunmen attack agriculture institute in Pakistan, wounding 11
Wali and another student rushed to his aid, hiding from the gunmen for nearly an hour before they were rescued by security forces. Noor Wali, a 19-year-old student at the institute, described a terrifying ordeal that began when he was woken by gunshots.

Police are beefing up their presence at Christmas markets across Germany.

Potsdam, a small but historic city, is the capital of Brandenburg state.

Christmas markets are extremely popular in Germany and have increased security this year following the deadly truck attack at a market in downtown Berlin last December. It lies about 40 kilometers southwest of Berlin.

Jose Garcia Zarate Found Not Guilty Of Kate Steinle Murder, Twitter Reacts
As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump cited the Steinle killing as a justification for his intended crackdown on immigration. The gun was stolen four days before the killing from the parked auto of a visiting Bureau of Land Management ranger.

Latest News