Five stabbed in German train attack as police probe extremist motive

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·1-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Police officers standing in front of a regional train where five people were stabbed (AP)
Police officers standing in front of a regional train where five people were stabbed (AP)

An off-duty police officer and two passengers on a train in Germany overpowered a man who injured five people in a “random” knife attack, authorities said.

Police detained the suspect, 31, shortly after the attack on a passenger train near the western city of Aachen at 7.42am on Friday morning.

State interior minister Herbert Reul said the man had began attacking fellow passengers “randomly and arbitrarily”.

The motive for the attack was under investigation but authorities are probing the possibility of an extremist motive, Mr Reul said.

He described the attack as “a gruesome crime that was stopped in an enormous act of courage”.

Several people are being treated at local hospitals following the attack but none of them are in a life-threatening condition, police said.

Four of the injured were treated in hospital for wounds to their hands or face and head while one victim had been stabbed in the shoulder blade.

None were in life-threatening condition, police said.

The attacker was also injured and taken to a clinic.

Photographs from the scene show the suspect, dressed in white overalls, being led into a police car.

One of the passengers, an off-duty police officer, is said to have overpowered the suspect with the help of two other passengers.

The officer, 60, told local media: “I was on my way to work, that’s all I can say”.

The suspect was known to authorities, Mr Reul said, and he was born in Iraq though his citizenship could not be immediately determined.

Around 200 officers were deployed to the scene, police said.

There were about 270 passengers on the train, Mr Reul said.

The track has been closed while investigations continue.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting