U.S. journalist credits text message for helping her survive terrorist attack in Berlin

Shandana Durrani (YouTube).

Shandana Durrani, an American travel and lifestyle journalist, was visiting the Christmas market in Berlin on Monday when she received a text message from a friend. Moments later, a truck drove through the crowded public square — killing at least 12, and injuring 48 more in what Berlin Police have said was likely a terrorist attack. Stopping to read her friend’s text, Durrani told ABC’s Good Morning America, may have saved her life.

“I was on my way out of the market after doing a little bit of shopping,” Durrani recalled in an interview. “I stopped to respond to a text message that I had gotten from a friend and I think that’s basically what saved me from being hit because as I looked up, this truck was barreling through the market and through the stalls and through the crowd coming almost at me.”

Durrani, a Muslim-American and a Detroit native, described hiding behind a stall in the market with others until they felt that “the coast was clear.” When they emerged from hiding, she said, they saw people “stunned” and “screaming” alongside bodies on the ground.

Flags across Germany flew at half-mast on Tuesday, and Christmas markets closed for the day in honor of the victims. In a brief statement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “horrified and shocked” at the incident and that the government “must assume that it was a terrorist attack.”

On Wednesday, an intense manhunt was under way in Germany for the suspect believed to have been behind the wheel of the truck. Authorities say Anis Amri, a 24-year-old asylum seeker from Tunisia with a checkered past, left his ID in the cab of the truck. They cautioned Germans that Amri could be armed and is very dangerous. Watch the full interview with Durrani below.

Read the full story at ABC News.


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