Poles bid farewell to truck driver killed in Berlin attack

2016-12-31 07:20
The coffin with Lukasz Urban’s body in, during funeral ceremonies in Banie, Poland. (Lukasz Szelemej, AP)

The coffin with Lukasz Urban’s body in, during funeral ceremonies in Banie, Poland. (Lukasz Szelemej, AP)

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12 killed in suspected Berlin terrorist attack

2016-12-20 10:05

A truck ploughed into a Christmas market in Berlin in a suspected terrorist attack, leaving 12 dead and 48 injured. Watch.WATCH

Banie - The bells of a brown stone church rang across a Polish village as hundreds of mourners gathered on Friday to bid farewell to a truck driver killed in the Berlin Christmas market attack.

Lukasz Urban, 37, has been described as the first victim of the attack on December 19 that killed a total of 12 people. He was waiting to deliver a shipment of steel in Berlin when his truck was hijacked by the Tunisian perpetrator of the attack. He was shot and his body was found in the cab of the truck.

Poland's President Andrzej Duda joined Urban's family, friends and neighbours, gathering with them in a church in the village church in Banie, near the border with Germany.

Several other Polish political officials and a representative of the German Embassy to Poland were also there.

A letter from Prime Minister Beata Szydlo was also read out in which she described her "great pain and sadness" and expressed her sympathy to Urban's family.

"Poles have fallen victim to terrorist attacks carried out by Islamic fundamentalists but the tragedy that happened in Berlin is unique when it comes to the ruthlessness and cruelty of the perpetrator," Szydlo said.

A bishop, Henryk Wejman, delivered a homily in which he described Urban as a man who was open to others and conscientious in his work.

"His willingness to work and serve others won him the trust of other people and the openness to fellow man," Wejman said.

As the Mass was winding down the president bowed his head at Urban's coffin before approaching Urban's wife and teenage son, whispering to them, shaking their hands and kissing the wife's hand.

The coffin was then carried out of the church and placed in a hearse, which drove it slowly through the village to a cemetery for burial, mourners walking with it.

Before the Mass, a group of truck drivers honked the horns of their trucks to honour Urban.

Read more on:    germany  |  poland

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