Berlin truck terrorist Anis Amri has been shot dead in Milan after attacking a police officer who asked him for ID.
Amri “immediately” produced a gun when approached by police and shot an officer during a routine patrol in the northern Italian city early on Friday.
The Tunisian was then killed, and there is “absolutely no doubt” that the man was Amri, Italian interior minister Marco Minniti said.
Amri, 24, was suspected of driving a truck into crowds at a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday, killing 12 people and injuring 48.
At a press conference on Friday morning, Mr Minniti said: “One of our police officers on patrol stopped a person who was just walking around looking very suspect. And the moment he was stopped, the man, without hesitating, he immediately took his gun and shot at the police officer who asked him for his identification papers.”
He added: “Police officers reacted to the shootout. The person who attacked our police officer was killed.”
Mr Minniti said: “There is absolutely no doubt that the person who was killed is Anis Amri, the suspect of the terrorist attack in Berlin.”
He said the officer who was shot, Cristian Movio, is recovering in hospital, adding that he has thanked him and wished him a happy Christmas.
“I told him that I hope he gets better soon. The boy is very motivated. He’s an extraordinary person. I thank him for the professionalism that he demonstrated, for the professionalism that him alongside his colleague had demonstrated,” he said.
The other officer involved was Luca Scata, the press conference heard.
Although the minister declined to disclose many operational details, he said the moment – which took place at 3am – demonstrated the excellence of Italy’s security services.
He said: “I would like to thank the whole of the security of our country. Italy should be really proud of our security, full stop, and I repeat – really proud, full stop.”
Mr Minniti added: “As soon as this person entered our country he was the most wanted man in Europe and we immediately identified him and neutralised him and this means our security is working really well.”
The minister said: “We are talking about an operation that happened at three in the morning in the middle of a really important city centre and it happened in complete security.
“The only problem was for the police officer who was shot – no-one else was injured.”
Police said Amri travelled from Chambery in France to Turin in Italy, then on to Milan’s Central Station where he arrived at 1am, and then on to Sesto San Giovanni.
Earlier this week, relatives of Amri urged him to turn himself in to police.
The suspect, who turned 24 on Thursday, is understood to have left Tunisia after the 2011 Arab Spring uprising and spent time in Italy before entering Germany last year. He has pledged his allegiance to ISIS in a video message.
Amaq Agency heeft videoboodschap verspreid van Anis Amri, de dader van aanslag Berlijn die in Milaan gedood is. Zweert trouw aan Baghdadi. pic.twitter.com/uYaIpAjBbm
— Bruno Struys (@brunostruys) December 23, 2016