Man arrested for knife attack on German train;  2 killed, 7 injured

Man arrested for knife attack on German train; 2 killed, 7 injured

BERLIN — A knife-wielding man, described as a stateless Palestinian, fatally stabbed two people and wounded seven others on a train in northern Germany. The motive for Wednesday’s attack was not immediately known.

Germany’s federal police said the suspect used a knife to attack several passengers shortly before a regional train from Kiel to Hamburg arrived at Brokstedt station.

Police spokesman Juergen Henningsen from the nearby town of Flensburg said two of those stabbed died after the attack. Three were seriously injured and four others suffered minor injuries. No details were given about the identities of the victims.

The attacker was also injured and taken to hospital, police said.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser was shocked by the brutal attack.

“The knife attack on a regional train is shocking news. All our thoughts are with the victims of this terrible act and their families,” she said.

“The background to the crime is now being investigated at full speed,” Faeser added. “I would like to thank the police and rescue workers who responded.”

Authorities said they were first made aware of the incident shortly before 3pm when several passengers on the train called police. Police said the train had stopped and the attacker was detained outside the train after several passengers held him down until officers arrived to detain him.

The interior minister of the state of Schleswig-Holstein, Sabine Suetterlin-Waack, condemned the attack.

“It’s terrible,” Suetterlin-Waack told German public broadcaster NDR. “We are shocked and appalled that something like this happened.”

She later told dpa that the attacker was a stateless 33-year-old Palestinian man.

The regional police and the federal police were on site and the public prosecutor’s office was investigating the attack, NDR reports.

At the time of the attack, there were about 120 passengers on the train, dpa reports. About 70 of them were questioned by police at a nearby restaurant after the incident. Several forensic teams were also on the scene and investigators in white protective overalls worked near the tracks and the train station.

Others walked with cameras on the platform, next to which the regional train “RE70 Hamburg Hbf” in which the attack took place was stopped. A bakery a few meters away from the station served hot drinks and pastries to save rescuers and passengers, dpa reported.

The train station in Brokstedt was closed for several hours and rail traffic in northern Germany was delayed.

Train operator Deutsche Bahn expressed its condolences on Wednesday evening, saying that “our deepest condolences go out to the families of the victims. We wish the injured a speedy and full recovery.”

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