Terror Attack

Truckers across Poland sound their horns as owner of lorry used in Berlin attack laid to rest

The 37-year-old’s funeral in the northwestern village of Banie was attended by Polish President.

Poland Germany Christmas Market Funeral A convey of trucks sets-off after the burial. PA Wire PA Wire

TRUCKERS HONKED THEIR their horns across Poland in homage to Lukasz Urban, the registered driver of the lorry hijacked in the Berlin Christmas market attack, who was buried today.

The 37-year-old’s funeral in the northwestern village of Banie was attended by Polish President Andrzej Duda as well as officials from Poland and Germany.

A letter from Prime Minister Beata Szydlo was read out at the funeral 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.

“We’re extremely sad… Lukasz was really good to everyone, he never said no to anyone,” childhood friend Danuta Jurewicz (34) told AFP.

Some 120 truckers were expected to converge on Banie to pay their respects, and trucks across Poland stopped at midday and sounded their horns in solidarity.

Poland Germany Christmas Market Funeral PA Wire PA Wire

Urban’s body was found in the truck that Tunisian jihadist suspect Anis Amri smashed into the Berlin market on December 19, killing 11 people.

Urban had been killed with a gunshot to the head some time before the attack and the owner of the transport company he worked for said his body showed signs of a struggle.

Family member Zofia Zurek recalled the moment she got the news.

pastedimage-79723 Lukasz Urban AP AP

“We recognised his truck on TV, we knew it was him. But until the body was identified, we had hope,” she told AFP.

Lukasz was a great guy and he took excellent care of his family.

The Polish state has said it will pay for the funeral costs. A British trucker, Dave Duncan, has raised nearly £177,000 pounds (€206,000) for his widow Zuzanna and 17-year-old son Adam.

Polish truckers have started a similar collection.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani man wrongly arrested for the Berlin truck attack on Friday said he had told German police he could not even drive and was now afraid for the safety of his family back home.

Naveed Baloch, an asylum-seeker from the troubled province of Balochistan, told the Guardian he had just left a friend’s house and was crossing a street when he saw a police car approaching fast and picked up his pace.

He said he was arrested and taken to a police station, where he was undressed and photographed.

“When I resisted, they started slapping me,” the 24-year-old, who has been living in a secret location provided by police since his release because he says he is afraid for his life, told the paper.

Baloch, who sought refuge in Germany as a member of a secular separatist movement in Balochistan, said he struggled to communicate because no translator could be found who could speak his native Balochi.

© – AFP 2016, contains reporting by The Associated Press

Read: Polish truck driver was ‘shot hours before’ Berlin market attack >

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