Police in Potsdam, Germany evacuate Christmas market, investigate suspicious object

A police officer stands guard at the Potsdam Christmas market after it was evacuated due to an explosive device authorities said

A police officer stands guard at the Potsdam Christmas market after it was evacuated due to an explosive device authorities said

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.

The device has since been defused, police said.

But later they added that they were not sure whether it was a genuine explosive device or a dummy.

Brandenburg police spokesman Thorsten Herbst said a suspicious package was delivered to a pharmacy in Potsdam.

Visitors were evacuated Friday from a Christmas market in Potsdam, Germany so that a bomb squad could detonate a suspicious package discovered near the popular attraction. Potsdam police said it was too soon who may have been responsible.

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Brandenburg state's top security official, Interior Minister Karl-Heinz Schroeter, said it also held a large firecracker without a fuse, Germany's dpa news agency reported on Friday night.

Police warn that there may be more such packages in the area.

On December 19th, 2016, a failed Tunisian asylum seeker and Islamic State sympathiser, Anis Amri (24), stole an articulated lorry and ploughed into booths in the market.

Germany is on high alert for potential terrorist attacks after last year's deadly attack on a Christmas market in Berlin.

Security measures were in the spotlight as Berlin's Christmas markets officially opened on Monday. The suspect later died in a shootout with police in Italy.

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