Explosive Device Defused at Christmas Market in Germany

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"At this point no ignition device has been found", they said. Hours later, however, Interior minister of Brandenburg, Karl-Heinz Schroeter, reported that y had found nails inside a suspect metal container as well as a white powder, but that y should still determine if re were also explosive substances.

Police say that a suspicious package that caused the evacuation of a Christmas market in the German city of Potsdam contained explosives.

Police in Potsdam, just outside Berlin, said they were alerted to a suspicious package, which after investigation they believe was a bomb.

The device has since been defused, police said. The affected area in the inner-city of Potsdam has been evacuated. An employee opened the package, saw the device and called police, Herbst said.

Earlier, officers said special forces were examining the object, which was described by the Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten newspaper as a package measuring 40cm (15.75in) by 50cm that had been delivered to a pharmacy near the market.

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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 package, deposited outside a drugstore, was rendered harmless by police on Friday, according to a tweet from police in Brandenburg, the state of which Potsdam is the capital.

Roads near the market have been closed.

Police in Germany are taking extra precautions this year, following the attack on Berlin's Christmas market last year.

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