Published On: Fri, Dec 1st, 2017

Christmas market EVACUATED: Germany fair on lockdown as police swoop in

Officers confirmed on Twitter the bustling Potsdam market, 18 miles from Berlin, has been evacuated following concerns around a “suspicious object”.

Local police confirmed “specialist officers” have been rolled out to deal with the package on Brandenburger Strasse, and a bomb disposal unit is on the scene.

The Brandenburg police force tweeted: “We are currently working in the inner city of Potsdam because of a suspicious item.

“An area has already been cordoned off.

“We have requested special forces. The Christmas market is also affected.

“More information to follow.”

Security officials have been on high alert round the nation’s famous Christmas markets following an attack in December last year when a truck was deliberately driven a festive market next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin.

Police are yet to confirm if a threat has been made against the event.

The object was described by the Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten newspaper as a package measuring 40×50 cm.

The suspect item is believed to have been been delivered to an pharmacy near the market, amid reports pharmacy employees alerted the police.

It comes as German officials endeavour to protect Christmas markets with a “ring of steel” amid fears they could once again be the target of terrorist attacks.

Tight security measures are designed to prevent a repeat of the devastating attack in the German capital this year. 

In Bochum, western Germany, organisers decorated concrete bollards blocking out pedestrianised areas, wrapping them up as Christmas presents with bows to make them look more festive.

Meanwhile at other markets, there were security staff patrolling the market, and concrete barriers to protect shoppers from a copycat attack after the tragedy in Berlin last year.

More to follow…

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