Car seen crashing into gate of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office

A car crashed into the gate of the office of German Chancellor in Berlin on Wednesday, a Reuters witness said.

Police in Berlin have taken the driver of a car that crashed into the gate of Chancellor ’s office into custody, police said via Twitter.

Local and federal police are investigating if the driver struck the gate intentionally, police added.

Berlin police do not suspect an extremist attack after a car crashed into the gate of Chancellor ’s office, a spokeswoman told Reuters on Wednesday.

“We are not working on the basis of this assumption at the moment,” she said, when asked if police suspected an extremist attack.

Reuters pictures from the scene showed police inspecting an estate car at the gate with the words “Stop Globalisation Politics” scrawled in white on its right side.

Pictures on social media showed the words “You damn killers of children and old people” written on the other.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. Dozens of police and a fire engine were on the scene.

Merkel was scheduled to be hosting a video conference of German state premiers on Wednesday morning, at which an extension to the coronavirus lockdown and further steps to combat the pandemic were due to be discussed.

Europe is on high alert after suspected Islamist militants killed eight people in Paris, Nice and Vienna in recent weeks. On Tuesday, Swiss police have identified a Swiss woman who knifed a victim in the neck and grabbed another by the throat in a Lugano department store as a known jihadist.

Four years ago, a failed Tunisian asylum seeker with Islamist links, hijacked a truck then plowed it into a crowded Berlin Christmas market, killing 11 more people and injuring dozens of others.

The chancellery office, a white post-modernist structure set across a square from the Reichstag building that houses Germany’s parliament, is well set back from any main roads.

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