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Berlin attack: First pictures of Tunisian suspect released after lorry massacre at Christmas market

Pictures emerge amid huge manhunt for driver of lorry that killed 12

Lizzie Dearden
Wednesday 21 December 2016 14:20 GMT
The 40-year-old Tunisian's number was allegedly saved in the mobile phone of chief truck attack suspect Anis Amri
The 40-year-old Tunisian's number was allegedly saved in the mobile phone of chief truck attack suspect Anis Amri (Facebook)

The first pictures of a Tunisian asylum seeker reported to be a suspect linked to the Berlin lorry attack have been released.

Prosecutors have not confirmed the identity of a suspect named by local media as Anis A, whose documents were reportedly found in the vehicle following the massacre.

Germany’s Bild newspaper published a photo of the suspect said to be taken from the papers, which give asylum seekers temporary leave to stay in the country while their claims are decided.

Islamic State claims responsibility for Berlin truck attack

The image appeared to match those on a Facebook profile of a Tunisian man called Anis Amri.

Der Spiegel reported that the suspect was born in 1992 in the city of Tataouine, although he was also believed to go under at least two other aliases and gave authorities differing dates of birth.

In the district of Kleve, in North Rhine-Westphalia, he went under the name Ahmed A, 21, the Allgemeine Zeitung reported.

It was unclear when the suspect arrived in Germany but a confidential security database entry from February reportedly showed authorities believed he had links to Isis, which was reported to be using his hometown as a transit base for fighters last year.

Anis Amri, latest suspect in Berlin truck attack (Facebook)

Anis A, who posed as Egyptian and Lebanese under various fake names, was reportedly classified as a terror threat and put under increased surveillance before a court in Ravensburg issued an order for his deportation in July. It was unclear how he remained in Germany.

Authorities have not confirmed the identification of a main suspect but authorities in the state of North Rhein-Westphlia were due to hold a press conference outlining developments.

A Pakistani asylum seeker originally arrested on suspicion of being the attacker has been released after no evidence was found against him, leaving the attacker at large and possibly armed.

The gun used to kill the Polish lorry driver has not been found, prompting warnings that the extremist could pose a continued risk to Germany.

Berlin Police said they had received more than 500 tips by Tuesday night, including 80 being followed up as leads as the country continues to mourn the atrocity.

A huge manhunt is on the way for the culprit, who fled the scene in central Berlin on Monday night after hijacking the lorry to carry out the atrocity, killing its Polish driver.

At least 12 people were killed and dozens more injured in the attack, which has sparked anger against German security services and Angela Merkel’s government.

Isis claimed responsibility for the massacre on Tuesday evening, calling the perpetrator a “soldier of the Islamic State” who was obeying calls to attack supporters of the US-led coalition launching air strikes on its territories in Syria and Iraq.

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