German police on Friday investigated a possible explosive containing nails close to a Christmas market in Potsdam, reviving fears of a repeat of last year's terror attack that struck at the height of the festive season.
The device was uncovered in a package found at a pharmacy just off the Christmas market in central Potsdam, a picturesque city near Berlin.
Police said a pharmacist had sounded the alert after finding a canister with wires inside the package.
Investigators initially said in a tweet that "suspicions of an unconventional explosive device have been confirmed."
But Brandenburg interior minister Karl-Heinz Schroeter later said a probe was still ongoing to determine "whether the device was actually capable of causing an explosion or not."
"There were apparently not only nails but also powder in the canister, and that must be investigated, could it be plaster, or something that doesn't explode or is it something explosive," he said, adding that "binding results" were unlikely to come today.
After clearing parts of the city center and Christmas market, bomb disposal units defused the device shortly before 6 pm.
Schroeter said officers were combing the area to check if other similar packages had been deposited.
"We are now carrying out searches because the package was delivered, apparently, and possibly other packages had been delivered nearby the Christmas market. That's why we are only at the beginning of our job," he said.
What is clear is that the scare, coming on the eve of the first Advent weekend, has sparked fear, said Schroeter. "We can see that it's not possible to hold a proper Christmas celebration," he said.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team