Truck attacks in Berlin and Nice reflect change in Isis tactics

Responsibility for Christmas market killings not yet confirmed but use of heavy vehicle on traditional event follows Isis line

The Berlin killings appear to have been modelled on the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice, a tactic that has become a focus of propaganda by Islamic State over the past month.

At least 12 people died and dozens were injured on Monday night when a truck was driven into a Christmas market in the centre of the German capital. The chancellor, Angela Merkel, said on Tuesday it had to be assumed we are dealing with a terrorist attack.

In terms of both its chosen target and method, the Berlin attack has echoes of the slaughter brought to the French coastal city in July by a Tunisian-born French resident.

In that attack, 86 people were killed and hundreds injured when Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel drove a 19-tonne lorry down the citys Promenade des Anglais into a crowd that had gathered for a firework display.

Just as the Christmas market is a cherished fixture of the German national calendar, so too the Bastille Day fireworks are a particularly special occasion for an attack.

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