CANBERRA, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government declared on Tuesday the Berlin Christmas market truck attack as an "official terrorist act", and offered compensation to Australians directly impacted by the event.
According to a statement released by Australia's Attorney-General George Brandis and Human Services Minister Alan Tudge, the government will offer Australians caught up in the attack more than 57,000 U.S. dollars as they continue to deal with their grief. No Australians were killed or injured but many witnessed the harrowing event.
"Today we announce the Turnbull government has declared the attack in Berlin, Germany on Dec. 19, 2016 a terrorist act," said the statement, released on Tuesday.
"This declaration means eligible Australian residents harmed as a direct result of this terrorist attack may be able to seek a one-off payment of up to 75,000 Australian dollars (57,000 U.S. dollars) through the Australian Victim of Terrorism Overseas Payment (AVTOP) scheme."
On Dec. 19, 2016, a truck was driven through the Christmas market in Breitscheidplatz, injuring dozens and killing 12 civilians, and the statement said the Australian government extends its "deepest sympathies to victims and their families."
"The Turnbull government condemns this attack and extends its deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those killed and injured and to the government and people of Germany," the statement said.
"The Australian government's AVTOP scheme ensures Australian victims of terrorist events overseas have access to financial support. It is an important acknowledgement of their pain and suffering," the statement added.