Israeli man found beaten to death in Berlin: Embassy

BERLIN (AFP) - A dead man found beaten beyond recognition in the ruins of a Gothic church in Berlin was an Israeli citizen, the Israeli embassy said on Wednesday.

Passersby reported finding the body early on Sunday at the site near Berlin's City Hall and the embassy said in a brief statement that it had received confirmation that the victim was one of its nationals.

It did not provide further details.

"The name of the dead man will not be released for now out of respect for his loved ones," it said.

A spokeswoman for the Berlin police said she could not confirm the victim's nationality.

"The identification process is ongoing," she told AFP.

Police said they have opened a murder investigation into the case in which the victim was found in the ruins of the 14th century Church of the Franciscan Monastery, which was destroyed during World War II.

They have called for any witnesses to come forward.

Although the man was carrying an Israeli passport, his face could not be compared with the identity photo due to his "massive injuries", they added.

The daily Bild newspaper said the victim was 22 years old and wearing sweatpants.