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Man stabs 2 passengers to death, injures 7 others on train in Germany

A man fatally stabbed two people and injured seven others on a train in northern Germany on Wednesday before being arrested, police said. Germany's Federal Police force said the man used a knife to attack several passengers shortly before a regional train traveling from Kiel to Hamburg arrived at the Brokstedt station.

Police spokesman Juergen Henningsen from the nearby city of Flensburg said two of the stabbed people died after the attack. Three people were severely injured and four others suffered minor injuries. No details were given about the identity of the victims.

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

Dead and injured in knife attack in train
Forensics staff are on duty on a platform at a regional train, with police officers standing opposite after two people were killed and several injured in a knife attack on a regional train from Kiel to Hamburg, on  January 25, 2023, in Schleswig-Holstein, Brokstedt, Germany Jonas Walzberg/picture alliance via Getty Images

Police did not provide any information on the suspect's identity other than saying he was between 20 to 30 years old. They said his possible motives were under investigation.

Police said they were first alerted to the incident shortly before 3 p.m. when several passengers on the train made emergency calls to police. Police said the train was stopped and the attacker was detained outside the train.

The interior minister of Schleswig-Holstein state, Sabine Suetterlin-Waack, voiced shock at the attack.

"It is terrible," Suetterlin-Waack told German public broadcaster NDR. "We are shocked and horrified that something like this has happened."

Regional police and the federal police were on the scene and the prosecutor's office was investigating the attack, NDR reported.

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

Train operator Deutsche Bahn expressed its condolences on Wednesday evening saying that "our deepest sympathy goes to the relatives of the victims. We wish those injured a speedy and complete recovery."

Police and emergency workers established a wide security perimeter around the Brokstedt station while helicopters circled overhead.

The daily Bild said that passengers who witnessed the attack broke out in panic on the train and that the suspect had wounds on both hands when he was detained.

Germany has been hit in recent years by several deadly knife attacks, some carried out by extremists and others by people suffering from serious psychological problems.

A Syrian jihadist was given a life sentence in May 2021 for stabbing a German man to death and severely wounding his partner in a homophobic attack in the eastern city of Dresden.

Last June a 30-year-old woman died from her injuries after an apparently random knife attack on students at a university campus.

In September 2022, a knife-wielding man wounded two people in Ansbach, a Bavarian town close to Nuremberg, before being fatally shot by police who said they were investigating a possible "Islamist or terrorist context".

A German court in December sentenced a Syrian-born man to 14 years in prison for an Islamist knife attack on a train in which he injured four passengers.

Last year a German court committed a Somali man to a psychiatric hospital after he stabbed three people to death in the southern city of Wuerzburg in 2021.

AFP contributed to this report.

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