German police defuse bomb near Christmas market

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A German Christmas market has been evacuated after a suspicious package containing nails and an unidentified power was delivered to a pharmacy close by.

The device has since been defused, police said. A bomb disposal unit is now examining the suspicious package, the police said. The object was reportedly planted on a children's carousel located at the Christmas market, local media report, citing unnamed witnesses.

Brandenburg state Interior Minister Karl-Heinz Schroeter told reporters the powder will be analyzed.

Police sealed off the inner-city area and evacuated the market as experts examined the contents of the package.

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"The investigations are still just beginning", Schröter said, adding that the powder might be a fake created to look like a bomb. "If it was really explosive or if it was a fake or a dummy, we will only know through further investigation".

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.

A failed Tunisian asylum seeker drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin in December 2016, killing 12 people and injuring another 56.

The suspect, Anis Amri, fled to Italy after the December 19 terror attack where he was killed in a shootout with police four days later.