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MILAN (Reuters) - Italy has expelled two Tunisians, one of whom may have had contact with a man who killed 12 people in Berlin when he ploughed a truck through a busy Christmas market, the Italian interior ministry said.

It said the name of the 44-year-old Tunisian, who was expelled on Saturday, was registered for a phone number which was found among the contacts of Berlin attacker Anis Amri.

Amri came to Italy by boat in 2011 and spent almost four years in jail there before being ordered out of the country in 2015.

The other expelled man was a 34-year-old who had shown sympathies with Islamic State militants and did not exclude the possibility of going to Syria, the ministry said.

Amri, a failed asylum seeker from Tunisia, killed 12 people when he ploughed a truck through a Christmas market in Berlin. He was killed in a shootout with police near Milan on Dec. 23.

The ministry said Italy has expelled 147 people suspected of religious extremism since January 2015. Fifteen of those expulsions have been this year.

(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Dominic Evans)

Reuters