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CRIME

Several wounded in knife attack on German train: police

Several people were wounded on Saturday in a knife attack on a high-speed train in Germany's Bavaria, local police said, adding the alleged perpetrator had been arrested.

Several wounded in knife attack on German train: police
The high speed train between Nuremberg and Regensburg stands stationary on Saturday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/vifogra

The motive for the attack on the passenger train, making its way from the Bavarian city of Regensburg to Hamburg, was not yet clear.

“According to preliminary information, several people were injured,” police in Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz said in a statement, saying there was “no more danger”.

The Bild newspaper said at least three people had been hurt, two of them seriously.

A police spokeswoman said none of them had suffered life-threatening injuries.

‘Horrible’ attack

A man has been arrested, police said, without giving any more details.

According to Bild, the suspect is a 27-year-old man of “Arab origin” who may be suffering from psychiatric problems.

The ICE high-speed train was halted in the station of Seubersdorf in the south.

“This knife attack is horrible,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Twitter.

“I would like to thank everyone, especially the police and the train staff, for their brave action, which prevented something even worse from happening.

“The motive for the crime is still unclear and will now be determined.”

The attack took place at a tense time in Germany, which faces terror threats from jihadists and right-wing extremist groups.

Islamist suspects have committed several violent attacks in recent years, the deadliest being a truck rampage at a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016 that killed 12 people.

The Tunisian attacker, a failed asylum seeker, was a supporter of the Islamic State jihadist group.

‘Radical Islamists’

Seehofer said earlier this year that German authorities had foiled 23 attempted attacks since 2000.

“Germany and Western Europe are still in the sights of radical Islamists,” he warned at the time.

Since 2013, the number of Islamists considered dangerous in Germany has increased fivefold to 615, according to the interior ministry.

Several attacks or attempted attacks were carried out by asylum seekers who arrived in Germany during the 2015 migration crisis.

Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the country’s doors to some 900,000 asylum seekers.

German officials believe the attackers planned their acts alone, unlike some of the attacks in France in 2015 that were ordered by the Islamic State jihadist group.

CRIME

German police foil teenage school ‘Nazi attack’

German investigators said Thursday they foiled a school bomb attack, as they arrested a 16-year-old who is suspected to have been planning a "Nazi terror attack".

German police foil teenage school 'Nazi attack'

“The police prevented a nightmare,” said Herbert Reul, interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) state.

Police in the city of Essen had stormed the teen’s room overnight, taking him into custody and uncovering 16 “pipe bombs”, as well as anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim material.

Some of the pipe bombs found contained nails, but officers did not find any detonators, Reul said.

There are “indications suggesting the young man has serious psychiatric problems and suicidal thoughts,” said Reul.

Material found so far in the suspect’s room include his own writing which constituted “a call for urgent help by a desperate young man.”

The suspect was allegedly planning to target his current school or another where he studied previously.

“All democrats have a common task to fight against racism, brutalisation and hate,” said NRW’s deputy premier Joachim Stamp, as he thanked police for “preventing a suspected Nazi terror attack”.

The suspect is being questioned while investigators continue to comb his home for evidence.

Investigators believe that he was acting alone.

They had been tipped off by another teen who informed them that the young man “wanted to place bombs in his school”, located about 800 metres from his home.

The school, as well as another institution, were closed on Thursday as investigators undertook fingertip searches as the locations to ensure that no bombs had been placed on site.

‘Neo-Nazi networks’ 

Germany has been rocked by several far-right assaults in recent years, sparking accusations that the government was not doing enough to stamp out neo-Nazi violence.

In February 2020 a far-right extremist shot dead 10 people and wounded five others in the central German city of Hanau.

Large amounts of material championing conspiracy theories and far-right ideology were subsequently found in the gunman’s apartment.

And in 2019, two people were killed after a neo-Nazi tried to storm a synagogue in Halle on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

Germany’s centre-left-led government under Chancellor Olaf Scholz took office in December pledging a decisive fight against far-right militants and investigators in April carried out country-wide raids against “neo-Nazi networks”, arresting four suspects.

The suspects targeted in the raids were believed to belong to the far-right martial arts group Knockout 51, the banned Combat 18 group named after theorder in the alphabet of Adolf Hitler’s initials, US-based Atomwaffen (Atomic) Division or the online propaganda group Sonderkommando 1418.

German authorities were also battling to clean extremists from within their ranks. Last year, the state of Hesse said it was dissolving Frankfurt’s elite police force after several officers were accused of participating in far-right online chats and swapping neo-Nazi symbols.

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