A eurosceptic German MEP has blamed Chancellor Angela Merkel for a lorry which ploughed into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing nine people and injuring dozens of others.
“When will the German rule of law strike back?” tweeted Marcus Pretzell, an MEP for the right wing Alternative for Germany party. “When will this cursed hypocrisy end? It is Merkel's dead!”
The message was sent just minutes after the apparent attack, but details have yet to be confirmed by the authorities.
Mr Pretzell has previously called for German border guards to use “armed force” against asylum seekers.
The comments, made in April 2016, led to him being expelled from the European Conservatives and Reformists faction of the European Parliament.
After his dismissal, he joined the Europe of Nations and Freedom faction, chaired by Marine Le Pen.
Ms Merkel has faced criticism for allowing the entry of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers into Germany, many from Syria.
The decision was not popular among some sections of the German public, contributing to the rise of populist political groups and parties in the country, including Alternative for Germany and Pegida.
If the suspected attack turns out to be related to refugees or is of jihadi in nature, it would pile immense pressure on Ms Merkel.
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