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Funeral held for Polish truck driver slain in Berlin attack

By
Eric DuVall
Polish President Andrzej Duda prays at the coffin of the truck driver Lukasz Urban, who was killed by a terrorist in the Berlin Christmas Market attack, during a funeral mass in Banie, Poland, on Friday. Urban was found dead in a truck used in an attack on Christmas Market in Berlin, Germany last week. Photo by Marcin Bielecki/European Pressphoto Agency
Polish President Andrzej Duda prays at the coffin of the truck driver Lukasz Urban, who was killed by a terrorist in the Berlin Christmas Market attack, during a funeral mass in Banie, Poland, on Friday. Urban was found dead in a truck used in an attack on Christmas Market in Berlin, Germany last week. Photo by Marcin Bielecki/European Pressphoto Agency

BAINE, Poland, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The first funeral for a victim of the Berlin truck attack took place in Poland on Friday, where the driver of the hijacked truck was remembered as a hero.

Lukasz Urban, 37, was the driver of the truck hijacked and used to mow down 11 people outside a Christmas market in Berlin last week. The suspect, a Tunisian man who was denied asylum by the German government and had dedicated himself to the Islamic State, shot Urban and hijacked his delivery truck to carry out the attack, police said.

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Urban, who had arrived in Berlin the day before the attack, was waiting to complete a delivery when his truck was hijacked.

In his home town of Baine, Poland, Urban's family, friends and Polish leaders remembered a dedicated worker and family man. His funeral was attended by Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, along with a German diplomat.

Urban's fellow truck drivers stopped their vehicles in solidarity across the country, honking their horns as a show of respect. More than 100 truckers were expected to converge on Baine later Friday as a further show of support.

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One day before the funeral, a spokesman for Duda said the president would attend the ceremony in order to express "huge respect for Lukasz Urban, who in the eyes of many Poles is definitely a hero, a courageous person."

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