Homepage > World Video

Camps supporting, opposing Merkel's refugee policies gather near attack site

Reporter: Guy Henderson 丨 CCTV.com

12-22-2016 12:31 BJT

In Germany, a manhunt continues for a Tunisian national in connection with an attack in Berlin. Protests are now taking place near the site where a truck ploughed through a Christmas market in the capital two days ago.

Police officers stand guard near the attacked Christmas market in Berlin, capital of Germany, on Dec. 21, 2016. German police is searching nationwide for a 23-year-old man under suspect after a lorry ploughed into a crowd at a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday night, killing 12 people and injuring many others. (Xinhua/Shan Yuqi)

Police officers stand guard near the attacked Christmas market in Berlin, capital of Germany, on Dec. 21, 2016. German police is searching nationwide for a 23-year-old man under suspect after a lorry ploughed into a crowd at a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday night, killing 12 people and injuring many others. (Xinhua/Shan Yuqi)

You rarely see this kind of passion at protests in Germany. It fits the mood here now.

“It’s good to stay together — and go out on the street, not to hide at home, be together and show everybody that nobody can push us into a corner where we are scared,” one protester said.

"They want to separate us. And these people — they work with them together. That’s my opinion because they also want to separate. But we have to stand together," another said.

“These people” are far-right counter-protesters. Kept at a distance from journalists too.

On one side, several hundred protesters who’ve turned up in support of Angela Merkel’s refugee policies. On the other — kept apart by just a few police officers — a smaller group, calling for the borders to be closed.

Each side with a very different solution to the same problem.

Terror: allegedly coming from abroad.

This is Annis Amri — a Tunisian national who’s identity document was found inside the truck.

He is now the prime suspect.

Authorities say they already suspected Amri was planning what they called a ‘seditious act’.

A failed asylum seeker — they’d apparently tried to deport him.

"The man couldn't be deported as he didn't have valid identification papers. The process for issuing replacement papers was started in August," said Ralf Jaeger, North Rhine Westphalia Interior Minister.

"At first Tunisia denied that this person was their national. The papers were not issued for a long while, they arrived today. I don't want to comment on this any further."

After an initial suspect was released without charge — Germany’s Interior urged caution.

"There is a new suspect. The suspect is being hunted down. I would like to say, just like all the others have said: this is a suspect and not necessarily the perpetrator," said Thomas De Maizieres, German Interior Minister.

On Wednesday evening, police removed the barriers at the scene as this city tries to return to normal.

A message of hope seems to prevail. But there’s some fear too — the killer, or killers, are still out there.