Three dead and 10 wounded in stabbing attack in Germany
Three people have been killed and several wounded in a stabbing attack in the southern German town of Würzburg, Bavarian authorities said on Friday afternoon, adding that police had stopped the suspected perpetrator with a shot to the leg.
The suspected attacker is believed to be a 24-year-old Somali man who has lived in Würzburg since 2015, Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann said in a statement.
He added that the perpetrator had in recent months drawn the attention of authorities because of a number of violent altercations, and had been taken into psychiatric care a few days ago.
Herrmann said the attacker appeared to have chosen his targets at random and the injured included a young boy, whose father was probably among the dead. The fatal victims are understood to also include two women of different ages.
Gerhard Eck, a state secretary at Bavaria’s interior ministry, told Main Post newspaper that three people had been killed and a further 10 injured, of which three to four were in intensive care at hospitals in the city.
Police said they were alerted to an incident at Barbarossaplatz, a square near Würzburg’s central station. “The attacker was overpowered after police used a firearm,” Lower Franconia police said on Twitter. “There are no indications of a second suspect. There is no danger to the population.”
Videos posted on social media showed a barefoot young man seemingly holding a knife being warded off by other men holding chairs until police arrived. Another video appeared to show blood on the ground.
The videos matched the reported location of the attacks on and around Barbarossaplatz, though it was not immediately possible to confirm when they had been made.
“Horrifying and shocking news from Würzburg,” the Bavarian state premier, Markus Söder, said in a post on Twitter. “We mourn for the victims and their families. We worry and hope for the injured. Thanks to the police for their quick intervention”.
Würzburg, a city of 130,000 people to the south-east of Frankfurt, was shaken by a similar attack in 2016, when a teenager armed with an axe and a knife attacked several passengers aboard a train. Three people were seriously hurt and one person sustained light injuries before the attacker, a 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, was shot dead by police.