Killer still at large, manhunt continues

Berlin cops release market attack suspect due to lack of evidence

BERLIN: German police yesterday stepped up their hunt for the driver of a lorry laden with steel beams that ploughed through a Berlin Christmas market on Monday.

The deadly assault, claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group, has left 12 people dead and put 24 in hospital.

The sole suspect, a 23-year-old Pakistani asylum seeker, was released late Tuesday for lack of evidence, prompting fears of a killer on the loose and further rattling nerves. Latest reports say police are now looking for a Tunisian man after finding identity documents in the truck.

German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung said the suspect had applied and received a residency permit. It also said he had been in contact with network of leading Islamist ideologist known as Abu Walaa.

"We can't rule out that the perpetrator is on the run," Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told public broadcaster ZDF.

The ISIS-linked Amaq news agency said "a soldier of the Islamic State" carried out the Berlin carnage "in response to appeals to target citizens of coalition countries".


Germany is part of a US-led coalition fighting the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

No one will rest until the perpetrator or perpetrators have been caught. Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere

Mr de Maiziere said several lines of inquiry were being pursued and added "we should let the security services do their job".

"No one will rest until the perpetrator or perpetrators have been caught," he said.

Police said they were chasing more than 500 tip-offs. - AFP