Hertha Berlin German club pay tribute to Christmas market victims

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

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A wreath left by German first division Bundesliga football team Hertha BSC Berlin lies at a makeshift memorial in front of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedaechtniskirche two days after an attack at the nearby Christmas market in central Berlin play

A wreath left by German first division Bundesliga football team Hertha BSC Berlin lies at a makeshift memorial in front of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedaechtniskirche two days after an attack at the nearby Christmas market in central Berlin

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

Director Michael Preetz and coach Pal Dardai paid their respects at the Christmas market on Breitscheidplatz while players gathered in silence before their evening Bundesliga match against Darmstadt.

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 hosted rock-bottom Darmstadt at Berlin's Olympic Stadium.

The match kicked off seven kilometres (four miles) from the square where a lorry ploughed into a busy Christmas market on Monday, leaving 12 dead and at least 48 injured.

A poignant minute's silence, with thousands of fans holding up lights, was observed at the Berlin ground before kick-off.

There was also a minute's silence on Wednesday at the four other Bundesliga grounds in Munich, Cologne, Ingolstadt and Hoffenheim, while players wore black armbands.

Security in and around Berlin's Olympic Stadium was ramped up.

"We are doing everything we can to make sure this match is safe for the players and the fans," Preetz told Sky before kick-off.

A banner in the Darmstadt fan block at the Olympic Stadium read: "Stay strong Berlin".

German police have launched a manhunt for a Tunisian rejected asylum seeker.

He is suspected of involvement in the truck assault. A 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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