Berlin truck attacker dead

Shot to death by Italian police at a train station in Milano:

The Berlin attack suspect has been shot dead after a gunfight with police in Milan this morning, Italian police have said. A major international manhunt had been launched for Anis Amri who is suspected of ploughing a lorry into crowds of revellers in the German capital on Monday night, killing 12 and maiming dozens of others.

But the 24-year-old Tunsian asylum seeker has been shot dead in the suburb of Sesto San Giovanni in the northern Italian city of Milan shortly after stepping off a train from France. He pulled a gun on a police patrol after being stopped for a routine ID check before shooting an officer in the shoulder leaving him seriously injured. A shoot out then took place at about 3am local time and he was reportedly heard shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he tried to flee.

He is said to have run for cover and cowered behind a car before being shot dead by a trainee officer who had only been in the job for a matter of months. Police, who had been made aware Amri may have been in the city, had earlier seen a man in his twenties, of North African appearance, outside the deserted Sesto San Giovanni station in the north of the city at 3am. When the patrol approached him, he pulled a 22 calibre pistol from his backpack and shot one of the two police officers in the shoulder, according to Corriere della Sera.

On his body police found a train ticket that helped reconstruct the attacker’s movements in Berlin, revealing how he took a train from Chambery in France and then from Turin to Milan.

That tends to bring events a little closer to home. I’ve been at that train station two or three times. Believe it or not, the Italian police are pretty competent; over the last 50 years they’ve had run-ins with everyone from the Red Brigades to the Sicilian and Calabrian mafia, and have generally kept the peace more successfully than the US police have managed. They train a lot, too; I’ve had the opportunity to watch their training exercises on several occasions.