German Police Detonate Explosives Found at Christmas Market

German police had been alerted to a suspicious package that was later confirmed to have contained explosives in a market in Potsdam, near the capital

Police officers evacuate the streets around a Christmas market in Potsdam, eastern Germany, on December 1, 2017.
JULIAN STAHLE/AFP

An explosive device found in Potsdam that led to the evacuation of the city's Christmas market has been defused, German police said Friday.

Police said that special forces had determined that a package found near the Brandenburg capital's Christmas market had contained "dangerous material."

They said that the package, which contained cables among other material, had been had been dropped off in the afternoon just as crowds were starting to gather at the city's Christmas market.

Police spokesman Torsten Herbst said on n-tv that it was not yet clear exactly what the device was made of.

Police had cordoned off the Christmas market in Potsdam and the surrounding area and sent in special forces after being alerted about a suspicious object delivered to a pharmacy in the area.

"The suspicion of an improvised explosive device has been confirmed," police said on Twitter.

Germany is on high alert for potential terrorist attacks after last year's deadly attack on a Christmas market in Berlin.