Members of Hungary’s crack counter-terrorism force, TEK, took up positions at open-air Christmas markets and near major retailing centers across Hungary today after Minister of the Interior Sándor Pintér ordered an increased police presence country-wide in response to what German authorities are saying was a terrorist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz that killed twelve and wounded dozens Monday night.
In a statement today, Pintér said there was no indication terrorist attacks were planned for Hungary, or that those behind the Berlin attack had anything to do with Hungary. For this reason, Hungary’s Counter Terror Coordination Committee (TKB) had chosen not to increase the country’s threat of terror attack from its current intermediate level of “3”.
In Budapest, TEK units took up positions throughout the city, including the Vörösmarty square in historic downtown Pest and in the Széna square by the Mammoth shopping center in Buda.
Trains between Munich and Budapest are reportedly under heightened police supervision, as are international trains passing through Hungary.
Furthermore, National Police public safety department head Tibor Lakatos announced there will be constant police presence at all train terminals, including Budapest’s Keleti, Nyugati, Déli and Kelenföld railway stations.
The German embassy in Budapest and the residence of the German ambassador to Hungary have been placed under continuous guard following the suspected terrorist attack in Berlin.
The Russian embassy in Budapest is also under added police protection, presumably in response to last night’s shooting of Turkey’s Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov at an Ankara art gallery. Karlov was killed by an off-duty Turkish police officer while speaking at the opening of an exhibition.