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Italy Expels Tunisian Tied to Berlin Christmas Market Attack

Italy Expels Tunisian Tied to Berlin Christmas Market Attack

Saturday, 6 June, 2020 - 10:00
Police evacuated a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, on December 21, 2019. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse
Asharq Al-Awsat

Italy's interior ministry said on Saturday it had expelled a Tunisian national linked to the man who carried out a deadly 2016 attack on a Berlin Christmas market.


Montassar Yaakoubi, described by the ministry as "an associate of the Tunisian terrorist Anis Amri," was flown to Tunisia on a special flight, the ministry said in a statement, without specifying when.


It was Italy's first such expulsion of a foreign national on state security grounds since such repatriations were suspended due to the coronavirus emergency, AFP quoted it as saying.


Yaakoubi hosted Amri in Italy before the latter's move to Germany in 2015, the ministry said.


On December 19, 2016, Amri -- a rejected asylum seeker from Tunisia and known radical militant -- hijacked a truck, ploughing into a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin and killing 12 people.


Amri, 24, managed to flee Germany after the attack but was shot in Milan by police four days later.


In the past five years, Italy has expelled 482 foreign nationals on security grounds, including 21 in 2020.


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