>> Chaos and destruction as a truck plows through a Christmas market in central Berlin. And now, sorrow and silence. I'm Lucy Fielder reporting for Reuters from Breitscheidplatz in central Berlin. And behind me, you can see the security cordon. We can't get any closer to the site. But you can see just beyond that, the damage where the truck plowed through the stalls, killing at least 12 people and injuring almost 50, some of them very seriously.
There's an atmosphere of heavy security among the sadness and the gloom on this foggy day in Berlin. That's partly because police now believe that the suspect might still be at large. Straight after the incident, police did arrest a man, a young asylum seeker, but they have now released him.
And Islamic State have now claimed responsibility for the attack, adding of course, to the sense of fear, but also to the anger. It's hard to imagine standing here, that just as recently as Monday night, people were drinking mulled wine at the scene just behind me. They were buying Christmas treats, they were doing their Christmas shopping in an atmosphere of festivity just a few days, of course, before Christmas.
And now, all is shuttered, not just here, but in Berlin's other Christmas markets, as a sign of respect, and of course, because this is a city in mourning. It's seen as particularly symbolic that this suspected attack happened not only on a Christmas market, but also outside a church that is a symbol here of remembrance.
It was damaged during the second World War. The damage was kept as a sort of shrine, a symbol of peace. But Germany today feels far from peaceful. It's a divided country, the far right immigration AFD party very quick to accuse Chancellor Angela Merkel's open door policy. While the facts about this attack are still unclear, if it does turn out to be linked to an asylum seeker or refugee or an Islamist group, that is going to pile pressure on Angela Merkel in the runup to an election.