German Police Defuse Explosive Device Near City Christmas Market

Police stand in a roped-off area at a Christmas market close to where an explosive device was found earlier in the day on Dec. 1, 2017 in Potsdam, Germany.

Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

German police in Potsdam, near Berlin, defused a suspected incendiary or explosive package found in a street close to the city’s newly-opened Christmas market.

The package, deposited outside a drugstore, was rendered harmless by police on Friday, according to a tweet from police in Brandenburg, the state of which Potsdam is the capital. The police evacuated and cordoned off the immediate area and said they’re still assessing the contents of the defused package.

The incident at the start of Germany’s festive season recalls a terrorist attack carried out in the German capital on Dec. 20 last year, when 12 people died after the driver of a hijacked truck plowed into a Christmas market on the city’s Breitscheid Square near the Berlin Zoo.

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