Berlin attack: Russian President Putin tells Angela Merkel, 'crime is shocking in its savage cynicism'

Will Worley
Tuesday 20 December 2016 10:40
Comments
File photo of President Putin and Chancellor Angela Merkel
File photo of President Putin and Chancellor Angela Merkel

Russian President Vladmir Putin has responded to the Berlin truck attack, which killed 12 people and injured 48 more.

"This crime against peaceful civilians is shocking in its savage cynicism," Mr Putin wrote to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck, according to a statement on the Kremlin's website.

A Pakistani refugee, named as 'Naved B', was arrested in connection with Monday evening's attack, when an articulated lorry drive into a Christmas market next to the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church.

Merkel on Berlin attack: 'We must assume it was terrorism'

Ms Merkel herself said she was "shocked, shaken and deeply saddened" by the attack and told reporters it would be "particularly sickening" if it turns out the attacker was an asylum-seeker who sought refuge in Germany.

Tributes also poured in from around the world.

Boris Johnson, British Foreign Secretary, wrote on Twitter: "My thoughts & condolences are with the people of Germany following tonight's terrible tragedy in Berlin, leaving so many dead & injured."

And the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the awful suspected attack on Berlin last night, particularly those who were injured, the families and friends of those who were killed and all the emergency responders.

"All Londoners stand in solidarity with the people of Berlin today - this was an attack on our shared values, freedoms and way of life."

President Barack Obama spoke with Ms Merkel on the phone about the attack.

According to Ms Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert: "President Obama assured the German Chancellor that the United States would support Germany in the investigation."

A White House statement released on Monday night by the National Security council said the United States " condemns in the strongest terms what appears to have been a terrorist attack on a Christmas Market".

The statement continued: "We send our thoughts and prayers to the families and loved ones of those killed, just as we wish a speedy recovery to all of those wounded.

"We also extend our heartfelt condolences to the people and Government of Germany."

Berlin attack: Suspect arrested by German police

Meanwhile, President-elect Donald Trump sent a message from his Florida residence about condemning the attack and blaming jihadi militant group Isis.

“Our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims of today’s horrifying terror attack in Berlin," Mr Trump said. "Innocent civilians were murdered in the streets as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday.

"ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad. These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners.”

French President Francois Hollande, whose country also suffered a truck attack in Nice earlier in the year, said: "The French share the mourning of the Germans who are facing this tragedy, which hits all Europe."

Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he was "horrified" by reports on the attack, stressing that "France stands alongside Germany at this dark and painful moment."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in