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Merkel: ‘Particularly Painful’ If Refugee Was Behind Berlin Massacre

REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

German Chancellor Angela Merkel thinks Monday’s terror attack on a Christmas market in Berlin is particularly painful if the perpetrator “came to Germany for protection and asylum.”

Merkel said she was “horrified, shaken and deeply saddened” in her first remarks after the attack, which killed at least 12 people and injured 48. Naved B., a 23-year-old Pakistani asylum seeker was arrested on suspicion of being the truck driver, but now Berlin police are saying they reportedly detained the wrong person, and the attacker is still at large. Naved B. is one of 1.2 million refugees who have arrived in Germany since the start of 2015.

“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.

Merkel had extra sympathy for the people who have “dedicated themselves” to helping refugees assimilate into German society. (RELATED: Report: Berlin Terror Attacker Is Pakistani Refugee)

“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,” Merkel said.

The chancellor promised to prosecute anyone responsible for the attack “with the full strength of our law.”

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