German Christmas market closed after suspicious package found

Potsdam police evacuated the market after a suspicious object was found

German police have said a package containing nails, wires, batteries, fireworks and powder found near a Christmas market in the eastern German city of Potsdam near Berlin did not contain an ignition device.

A controlled explosion was carried out on the suspicious package.

An employee working in a local pharmacy was the first to report the suspicious package to the police.

They later said that their officers had defused the explosive. Potsdam police said it was too soon who may have been responsible. The package had been delivered to a pharmacy, German media reported.

Interior Minister Karl-Heinz Schroeter said the powder would be analysed to determine if it was genuine or a dummy.

Armed police are on the scene in Potsdam, Germany, after the suspected device was found by police.

The police were called around 2.30pm local time on Friday
Image The police were called around 2.30pm local time on Friday

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

The Christmas market was closed and the area has been cleared.

Christmas markets opened across Germany on Monday at the start of the holiday season, fortified with security staff and concrete barriers to protect shoppers.

Germany is on high alert for militant attacks, almost a year after a Tunisian Islamist rammed a hijacked truck into a Christmas market in central Berlin, killing 11 people as well as the driver.

Potsdam is the capital and largest city of the German federal state of Brandenburg.

An Islamic extremist killed 12 people when he drove a truck into crowds.

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