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An ax-wielding Afghan refugee attacked passengers on a German train

A 17-year old Afghan man who had come to Germany as a refugee wounded at least three people seriously. His motive is still unclear.

by Alberto Riva
Jul 18 2016, 10:15pm

Photo par Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/EPA

A 17-year old Afghan man wielding an ax and a knife attacked passengers on a train in the southern German state of Bavaria late on Monday, severely wounding three people, a police spokesman said. Another person has been wounded lightly, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung said.

The man had been shot dead by police, the paper said, quoting a spokesperson for the Bavarian Interior Ministry.

The spokesman said the attack happened on a local train near the city of Würzburg. According to police, the train stopped in the town of Heidingsfeld, where the young man engaged police officers with the weapons he had used to attack passengers, and was then shot.

The rail line between Würzburg - Heidingsfeld and Ochsenfurt has been closed, the police spokesman said.

There was no indication of the motive for the attack. Interior minister Joachim Herrmann told German broadcaster ARD, as quoted by Süddeutsche Zeitung, that the young man had come to Germany as an unaccompanied refugee and had been placed with a foster family in the town of Ochsenfurt.

The attack happened as Europe is on high alert following a terror attack in Nice on Friday that killed 84 people. Rhetoric blaming refugees for acts of terrorism has been intensifying on both sides of the Atlantic.