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Christmas market evacuated after improvised bomb was discovered in Potsdam, Germany

The popular Christmas market in Potsdam, Germany, was evacuated Friday after a suspicious package was found   The device was found in a package found at a pharmacy just off the Christmas market in central Potsdam, a picturesque city near Berlin. German police later confirmed the package contained explosives.

“The suspicion of an improvised explosive device has been confirmed,” German police said on Twitter. The device was defused in a controlled explosion. However, even if the package contained a "cylindrical object with cables, batteries and nails," no detonator had been found. Germany has been on high alert for possible jihadist attacks after last December's deadly attack when a failed Tunisian asylum seeker drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin in December 2016, killing 12 people and injuring another 56.

Christmas-market-in-Potsdam
Christmas market in Potsdam

Germany has since been targeted again in attacks with radical Islamist motives. The ISIS also claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in 2016, including the murder of a teenager in Hamburg, a suicide bombing in the southern city of Ansbach that wounded 15, and an axe attack on a train in Bavaria that left five injured. Germany remains a target for jihadist groups, in particular because of its involvement in the coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria. As a result of Friday's incident, police in Potsdam said that they will bolster their presence at the Christmas market with extra officers from Germany's rapid response and support division.

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