Explosive device defused in German city of Potsdam

Police vehicles parked near the Christmas market in Potsdam after a suspicious object prompted its evacuation.-AFP

Police patrol the area after an explosive was found near a Christmas market in Potsdam Germany.

German police evacuated the city centre of Potsdam, near Berlin, on Friday afternoon after a package was found near a Christmas market containing fireworks and "hundreds of nails" in a tin.

The newspaper said police were alerted at about 2.30pm local time (1.30pm GMT) after an employee opened the package at the pharmacy and saw suspicious wires and electronics inside.

What was found in the suspicious package?

Police also closed several roads adjacent to the area, German media report.

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The package contained nails, powder and a firecracker, but it's not clear if it was a functioning explosive device.

"The evaluation and analysis is just beginning now", Schroeter said.

Previous year a Christmas market in Berlin itself was attacked, killing a total of 12 people.

A failed Tunisian asylum seeker drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin in December 2016, killing 12 people and injuring another 56.

Security has been stepped up at all markets across Germany ahead of that anniversary, and the looming first Advent weekend. The suspect, Anis Amri, fled to Italy after the December 19 attack and died in a shootout with police near Milan on December 23, 2016.

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