Hertha pay tribute to Christmas market victims

Berlin (AFP) – Hertha Berlin’s players and staff laid a wreath and stood in silence on Wednesday at the site of Monday’s terror attack in the German capital that left 12 people dead.

Director Michael Preetz and coach Pal Dardai laid a wreath at the Christmas market while players gathered in silence ahead of their Bundesliga match later on Wednesday evening.

The club published photos of the tribute on its Twitter account.

“What happened at Breitscheidplatz was a shock for all of us,” said Hertha’s Bosnian forward Vedad Ibisevic on the club website.

“And for me personally because I live close by. The day before my wife and mother were at the market. It’s very sad.

“But the fact that our match is taking place is a good sign. Life must go on, we can’t let ourselves be intimidated.”

Hertha are hosting rock-bottom Darmstadt at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, with kick-off at 1900 GMT.

A minute’s silence will be observed at the ground before kick-off, as it will at all matches in Germany, while players will wear black armbands.

Security in and around the Olympic Stadium will also be ramped up.

“Berlin must remain strong and united, as ever,” said Dardai.

On Wednesday, German police launched a manhunt for a Tunisian rejected asylum seeker.

He is suspected of involvement in the truck assault. A previous 23-year-old Pakistani asylum seeker suspect was released on Tuesday for lack of evidence.

Some 24 people remain in hospital, 14 in a serious condition, following the attack.

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