In Germany quickly evacuated the Christmas market

In Germany quickly evacuated the Christmas market

Brandenburg state Interior Minister Karl-Heinz Schroeter told reporters at the scene that it would take some time to analyze the powder.

"The bad news is it was a blackmail attempt targeting the DHL delivery service".

Authorities found the parcel after it was delivered to a pharmacy in downtown Potsdam.

The delivery of parcel containing nails and an improvised explosive device to a pharmacy in the city of Potsdam on Friday triggered the temporary evacuation of the nearby Christmas market.

Police information indicates that the package was dropped off at the local DHL packing station in Potsdam on Thursday.

Potsdam police said they cleared the area around where the object was found on Friday afternoon and are investigating.

Preliminary information indicates that the perpetrators were located in the German state of Brandenburg, or neighboring Berlin.

In Germany quickly evacuated the Christmas market
German 'nail bomb' package that sparked an evacuation at a Christmas market near Berlin was 'part of a blackmail plot'

The package contained "a cylindrical object with cables, batteries and nails" but was not viable as a bomb as it lacked an ignition mechanism, said police.

Police said it was highly likely that the package could have exploded.

While the inquiry appears to point to small businesses being targeted, police say they are not ruling out the possibility of packages being sent to individual recipients.

The officials said it was extremely unlikely that the pharmacist himself was the target or that the move was motivated by terrorism.

Investigators say the suspect package is linked to a similar delivery made in November in Frankfurt an der Oder, a town around an hour to the east. Authorities believe it is "possible, even likely" that the perpetrators would send more explosive devices as means to pressure the DHL, which delivers millions of packages per day. An unknown sender, spelling mistakes or wires hanging out of a package could all be indications of a letter bomb, he said, adding that police had activated a hotline to field concerns.

DHL warned the public not to open packages if they did not recognize the sender's address or if the sender's address was suspicious.

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