Saturday, December 24, 2016

Vatican on high alert after truck attack in Berlin

Security was heightened for the Christmas weekend in Italy and at the Vatican on Saturday after Italian police killed the man believed to be responsible for the Berlin market truck attack while other European cities kept forces on high alert.
In France, Britain and Germany, which have all been targets of Islamist militant attacks, police increased their presence at tourist spots in major cities and other densely populated areas.
Anis Amri, a 24-year-old Tunisian suspected of carrying out the truck attack which killed 12 people, was shot dead in a town near Milan early on Friday after he pulled a gun on police during a routine check.
He had traveled undetected to Italy from Germany via France, taking advantage of Europe's open-border Schengen pact.
As investigators sought to determine if Amri had accomplices in Italy, and associates were being arrested in his home country of Tunisia, national security officials in Italy beefed up security at sensitive spots.
Rome authorities banned vans or trucks from entering the city center and anti-terror police wearing masks and wielding machine guns set up roadblocks on routes leading to famous tourist sites or areas where crowds traditionally gather.
At the Vatican, where Pope Francis was due to celebrate Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter's basilica on Saturday evening, police cars and military jeeps stood about every 100 meters (yards) along streets leading to the Vatican. (Read More)