· Police seek suspect in Berlin Christmas market attack ·
With “deep sorrow,” Pope Francis has said he learned of “the terrible act of violence” carried out 19 December at a Berlin, Germany Christmas market, causing “a considerable number of casualties, and the death of many people”.
In a telegram this week to the Archbishop of Berlin, Heiner Koch, the Pope said he joins “all men and women of good will” who have committed themselves to efforts “so that the murderous folly of terrorism no longer finds a place in our world”.
The telegram, written on behalf of the Holy Father by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said the Holy Father “expresses his participation in the mourning of the relatives, conveying his compassion and assuring them of his closeness in their suffering”.
A large lorry rammed into shoppers at the crowded Christmas market shortly after 8:00 pm Monday, killing 12 people and injuring 48 others, some seriously. The Polish driver of the lorry was found dead inside after an apparent high-jacking. In the message, the Pope entrusted “the departed to God’s mercy and implores the healing of the wounded”. He also expressed his gratitude to the medical and security services for their “committed efforts”.
Police have issued a Europe-wide alert, seeking a Tunisian man suspected of involvement in the attack. Security officials identified the man as 24-year-old Anis Amri after discovering documents belonging to the individual under the driver's seat of the lorry.
German authorities have offered a reward of up to 100,000 euros ($104,000) for information leading to Amri’s capture. They warned that he could be armed and dangerous.
A 23-year-old Pakistani man was arrested soon after the attack, but later released for lack of evidence.
St. Peter’s Square
March 21, 2019
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