Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Trump blames Islamic terrorists over killings in Turkey and Berlin

US president-elect Donald Trump has blamed Islamic terrorism for deadly violence in Turkey and Germany, and vowed anew to eradicate their regional and global networks.

Despite investigations still being at an early stage in both countries, Mr Trump issued a pair of statements condemning the incidents.

The White House had already described the episode in central Berlin, in which a truck rammed into shoppers at a Christmas market, as an apparent terrorist attack.

Mr Trump called the shooting of Russia's ambassador to Turkey as he attended a photo exhibition in Ankara "a violation of all rules of civilised order".

He added that a "radical Islamic terrorist" had assassinated the diplomat, Andrei Karlov.

Turkish authorities identified the gunman as Mevlut Mert Altintas, a member of Ankara's riot police squad, and said he was later killed in a shoot-out with police. Altintas shouted in Turkish about the Syrian city of Aleppo and also yelled "Allahu akbar," the Arabic phrase for "God is great".

In Berlin, where at least 12 people were killed, Mr Trump said Islamic State (IS) "and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad".

He added that these terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks "must be eradicated from the face of the earth" and pledged to carry out that mission with "all freedom-loving partners".

Mr Trump's transition team did not respond to requests to cite the sources for his claims of terrorist involvement.

He later tweeted: "Today there were terror attacks in Turkey, Switzerland and Germany - and it is only getting worse. The civilized world must change thinking!"

In Zurich, police said three people were wounded when a gunman opened fire in the prayer hall of a mosque frequented by Somali immigrants.

Trump vowed during the presidential campaign to go after IS, but repeatedly declined to provide details on his plan.

His statements came at the end of a day in which he was formally elected president by the Electoral College, clearing the way for his January 20 inauguration. Mr Trump also announced his candidate for secretary of the Army on Monday and held a round of transition meetings.

AP

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph