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Suspicious Package Prompts German Police to Clear Christmas Market

People hold candles at the memorial site of last year's truck attack in a Christmas market, which killed 12 people and injured many others, at Breitscheidplatz square in Berlin, Dec. 19, 2017.

Police brought in experts and an explosives robot to investigate a suspicious package found at the Christmas market in the west German city of Bonn late Friday.

Bonn police cordoned off and evacuated a large area of the market just before 9 p.m. local time, and experts were still examining the object five hours later, a spokesman said.

“We assume it’s not dangerous, but we’re still investigating,” the spokesman said. He said the object was discovered shortly before the market was to close for the evening, so it was not crowded.

Germany is on high alert for potential attacks a year after failed Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri killed 12 people when he hijacked a truck and drove it into a crowded Berlin Christmas market.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, marking the first anniversary of the attack on Tuesday, said Germany should learn from security shortcomings exposed in the incident.

German authorities evacuated part of a Christmas market in Potsdam near Berlin earlier this month after a package containing powerful firecrackers, wires and nails was delivered to a nearby pharmacy.

Officials later said that criminals had used the incident to try to extort millions of euros from logistics firm DHL, which had delivered the package.