A German Christmas market was evacuated after police found an explosive device

Tammy Harvey
December 2, 2017

German police evacuated a popular Christmas market in the city of Potsdam on Friday before destroying a suspicious package containing nails and an unidentified powder in a controlled explosion, officials said.

The device was defused at 5.30pm local time (4.30pm GMT), after police were called three hours before.

A robot using water jets was used to ensure the device was safe, officials said.

What was found in the suspicious package?

Police also closed several roads adjacent to the area, German media report. They later tweeted that the device had been defused.

"We are now carrying out searches because the package was delivered, apparently, and possibly other packages had been delivered nearby the Christmas market".

They evacuated the area around the city centre Christmas market to examine the package.

However, police warned of speculation on Twitter and told people to avoid "premature conclusions".

An Islamic extremist killed 12 people when he drove a truck into crowds.

The development comes almost one year after 11 people were killed when a Tunisian Islamist hijacked a truck, killed its driver then rammed the vehicle into a Christmas market.

Christmas markets opened across Germany on Monday at the start of the holiday season, fortified with security staff and concrete barriers to protect shoppers. The suspect, Anis Amri, fled to Italy after the December 19 attack and died in a shootout with police near Milan on December 23, 2016.

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