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Polish truck driver killed in Berlin Christmas market attack buried in home town

The wife of Lukasz Urban, the Polish truck driver who was killed in the Berlin Christmas market attack, touches his coffin during his funeral in Banie, Poland on Friday Dec 30 2016. Picture by Lukasz Szelemej, Associated Press

HUNDREDS of mourners have bid farewell to the Polish truck driver killed in the Berlin Christmas market attack.

Lukasz Urban (37) has been described as the first victim of the attack that killed a total of 12 people in the German capital on December 19.

He had been waiting to deliver a shipment of steel in Berlin when his truck was hijacked by the attacker, believed to be Tunisian man Anis Amri, who was later killed in a shoot-out with Italian police.

Mr Urban was shot, and his body was found later in the cab of the truck.

Poland's president Andrzej Duda joined Mr Urban's family, friends and neighbours in a church in the village church in Banie, near the border with Germany.

Several other Polish political officials and a representative of the German embassy to Poland were also there.

A letter from prime minister Beata Szydlo was also read out in which she described her "great pain and sadness" and expressed her sympathy to Mr Urban's family.

"Poles have fallen victim to terrorist attacks carried out by Islamic fundamentalists but the tragedy that happened in Berlin is unique when it comes to the ruthlessness and cruelty of the perpetrator," Ms Szydlo said.

Bishop Henryk Wejman delivered a homily in which he described Mr Urban as a man who was open to others and conscientious in his work.

"His willingness to work and serve others won him the trust of other people and the openness to fellow man," Bishop Wejman said.

As the Mass was winding down the president bowed his head at Mr Urban's coffin before offering his condolences to the dead man's wife and teenage son.

The coffin was then carried out of the church and placed in a hearse, which drove it slowly through the village to a cemetery for burial, as mourners walked alonside it.

People gather in front of the church for a funeral mass of the Polish truck driver Lukasz Urban, who was killed in the Berlin Christmas market attack, in the church in Banie, Poland, Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, during the funeral ceremonies. (AP Photo/Lukasz Szelemej).

Before the Mass, a group of truck drivers honked the horns of their trucks to honour Mr Urban.

Meanwhile the Berlin attack suspect moved like a "lone wolf" while travelling through Italy, the country's interior minister said.

Marco Minniti's remarks bolstered Italian investigators' findings which have indicated that 24-year-old Anis Amri lacked any significant contacts in Italy as he fled Germany in the wake of the December 19 attack, which killed 12 people.

Mr Minniti said "from when he arrived in Italy, Amri moved like a lone wolf" while he was a fugitive.

Amri spent three and a half years in prisons in Sicily before ending up in Germany after Italy tried unsuccessfully to expel him to Tunisia following his release from prison.

Amri died in a shoot-out with Italian police on December 23 outside a suburban Milan train station.

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