Explosive Device Defused at Christmas Market in Germany

BREAKING: Christmas market EVACUATED as 'bomb found' – armed police on scene

Potsdam police find explosives near Christmas market

German police evacuated a popular Christmas market in the city of Potsdam on Friday before destroying a suspicious package containing nails and an unidentified powder in a controlled explosion, officials said.

Police said later on Twitter that the package included "a cylindrical object with cables, batteries and nails but at this point no ignition device has been found".

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Earlier, officers said special forces were examining the object, which was described by the Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten newspaper as a package measuring 40cm (15.75in) by 50cm that had been delivered to a pharmacy near the market. Police were called and the area was evacuated. He said it is not clear whether the package was a real weapon. It didn't appear to have a detonator, police tweeted, suggesting the device was a "dummy" or assembled improperly, according to German media Deutsche Welle. On December 19, 2016, a hijacked truck driven by a failed asylum seeker from Tunisia went off the road and into the market held near a historic church on the Kurfurstendamm shopping avenue.

Security measures were in the spotlight as Berlin's Christmas markets officially opened on Monday.

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On Dec. 21 a year ago, a truck driven by a Tunisian Islamist rammed into a Christmas market near Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in downtown Berlin, killing 12 people.

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