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German police shoot man wielding pick hammer in Hamburg hours before Euro 2024 match, officials say

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A man threatening German police officers with a pick hammer and a Molotov cocktail was shot and wounded on Sunday, officials said.

The incident in the northern city of Hamburg took place hours before it hosted a match in the Euro 2024 soccer tournament.

Police officers opened fire after the man refused to put down the hammer and a Molotov cocktail, hitting him in the leg, police spokesman Thilo Marxsen said. 

Euro 2024 - Fans before Poland v Netherlands
Police officers guard a cordoned-off area on Silbersackstrasse after an attacker was shot down by police officers in the St. Pauli district of Hamburg, Germany. Axel Schmidt / REUTERS

The man was receiving medical treatment, Hamburg police said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, without providing further details. No one else was hurt.

The incident occurred in the downtown St. Pauli area of the city, which German media said was thronged with thousands of fans ahead of Sunday's match between the Netherlands and Poland. The police spokesman said there was no initial indication that the incident was related to the soccer game.

Local media reported the incident took place at about 12:30 local time on the Reeperbahn, a main street and nightlife area in the city. It was near a fan zone for supporters of the Dutch national team, CBS News partner the BBC reported.

Euro 2024 - Fans before Poland v Netherlands
A smashed bottle is seen circled with spray paint in a cordoned-off area on Silbersackstrasse after an attacker was shot down by police officers in Hamburg, Germany. Axel Schmidt / REUTERS

Videos and photos shared on social media showed a chaotic scene in Reeperbahn.

German authorities have put police on high alert during the tournament, which began on Friday and runs through July 14, for fear of possible fan violence and terrorist attacks.

On Friday, police shot to death an Afghan man after he fatally attacked a compatriot and later wounded three people watching the televised game between Germany and Scotland in a town in eastern Germany. Police said Sunday that the motive for that attack was still unclear.

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