Tunisian security forces have arrested three suspected militants, including the nephew of the man believed to be responsible for the attack on a Berlin Christmas market, the country’s interior ministry said on Saturday.
The ministry said that the three men, aged between 18 and 27, had been arrested after their links to Anis Amri, who was shot dead by police in Italy on Friday, had been uncovered, according to wire agencies.
The interior ministry added that Amri’s nephew had confessed to communicating with Amri via the encrypted messaging service, Telegram, in order to evade security surveillance, according to the BBC.
Amri, a 24-year old Tunisian, was killed near Milan in the early hours of Friday morning after he opened fire on police officers who had stopped him as part of a routine check.
Isis later released a video of Amri pledging allegiance to the militant group and promising to “slaughter” the “crusaders” in revenge for what he called the shedding of Muslim blood.
Amri’s death brought an end to a three-day pan-European manhunt, which began after a stolen truck was slammed into a Christmas market in the shadow of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, one of Berlin’s most distinctive landmarks, on Monday evening.
Investigators concluded that it was Amri who was at the wheel of the truck after his fingerprints were found in the vehicle’s cab. They had also found his ID papers in a wallet left in the cab.
Twelve people died and a further 48 were injured in the attack, making it one of the worst terrorist atrocities to befall Germany.
Thomas de Maizière, Germany’s interior minister, said on Friday that investigations would continue into Amri’s network. He said despite Amri’s death, the terrorist threat in Germany remained high.
According to Italian media reports, Amri arrived in Italy by train from the Savoy region in south-eastern France. Peter Frank, Germany’s chief federal prosecutor, said on Friday that how Amri had been able to travel from Germany to Italy was “one of the central objects of our further investigations”.
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