Christmas Market Evacuated After Nail Bomb Is Found

A German Christmas market was evacuated last night after a suspected nail bomb was found.

Hundreds were rushed from the market in Postsdam near Berlin after a can with protruding wires was found near a pharmacy as police combed the area for other bombs.

Police investigating if the bomb was fake last night said they had not found a detonator but are still analysing.

Brandenburg state police said on Twitter on Friday night that it contained ‘a cylindrical object with cables, batteries and nails, but at this point no ignition device has been found.’

Authorities previously said that the package also contained a powder, but that it hadn’t been determined whether it was an explosive substance or something else.

The Christmas market was up and running as normal today as police said it was ‘unlikely’ that it was the target of the suspicious package.

Brandenburg’s interior minister Karl-Heinz Schroeter said experts were trying to determine whether it was a viable device or an elaborate hoax.

Officers were assessing ‘whether the device was actually capable of causing an explosion or not’.

He added: ‘There were apparently not only nails but also powder in the canister, and that must be investigated, could it be plaster, or something that doesn’t explode or is it something explosive.’

He said results of tests to determine the device’s viability may not be completed this evening.

He added: ‘We just don’t know at this point if this was a device that could have actually exploded or a fake or a test.’

The bomb was reportedly 20 inches long and 16 inches wide.

Local media said police were alerted around 1:30 p.m.

Police announced on Twitter about three hours later that the object had been defused.

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

Potsdam is about 15 miles southwest of the German capital Berlin.

Germany’s security services estimate there are around 10,000 Islamic radicals in Germany, some 1,600 of whom are suspected of being capable of using violence.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has allowed in more than one million asylum seekers in the past two years – a decision that has driven the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which charges – along with many in the mainstream – that the influx spells a heightened security risk.