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Berlin Police: We Caught The Wrong Person, Attacker Still At Large

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

Berlin police said the 23-year-old asylum seeker in custody after the attack on the Christmas market in Berlin Monday is not the truck driver, Die Welt reported Tuesday.

The attacker remains at large and is believed to be armed and dangerous, police said.

“We have the wrong man, and thus a new situation,” police said in a statement. “The capital’s preparedness police and the special forces have been informed.”

Naved B., a 23-year-old Pakistani asylum seeker, was arrested Monday on suspicion of being the truck driver. The suspect denied any participation in the attack.

Police performed an overnight raid against the asylum shelter where Naved B. is registered. Four people were questioned and personal items were seized. After hours of interrogations, police started questioning if they had caught the right person.

German Chancellor Merkel said she was “horrified, shaken and deeply saddened” in her first remarks after the attack. The situation would be “particularly painful” if the perpetrator “came to Germany for protection and asylum,” Merkel said.  (RELATED: Merkel: ‘Particularly Painful’ If Refugee Was Behind Berlin Massacre)

“I know that it would be particularly hard to bear for all of us if it was confirmed that a person committed this crime who asked for protection and asylum in Germany,” Merkel said. “This would be particularly repugnant in the face of the many many Germans who have dedicated themselves day after day to helping refugees, and in the face of the many people who actually need our protection and try to integrate into our country.”
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