Axe-wielding teen attacks train passengers in Germany

  • A male teenager armed with an axe and a knife attacked train passengers in Germany
  • At least 15 people were injured, including four tourists from Hong Kong who suffered severe injuries
  • Witnesses suggest that it was an Islamic attack because they allegedly heard the attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar”

A teenage boy went on a bloody rampage inside a train in central Germany and attacked passengers using an axe and a knife.

At least 15 passengers were injured, four of them seriously, in the attack perpetrated by a 17-year-old male Afghan refugee, who was shot dead by policemen as he tried to flee from the Würzburg-Heidingsfeld train station.

One witness said the carriage where the attack took place “looked like a slaughterhouse.” He said he saw people crawling out from the carriage, while other victims lay on the train’s floor inside.

Police spokesman Fabian Hench said the four people – 62-year-old man, his 58-year-old wife, their daughter, 27, and her boyfriend, 31 –  who have been severely wounded were tourists from Hong Kong.  The 17-year-old son traveling with them was not hurt.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has condemned the attack. Immigration officials from the city will accompany family members of the victims to Germany.

Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said it is too early to speculate about the attacker’s motive. He said the boy entered Germany as an “unaccompanied minor” and had been living with a foster family at the nearby Ochsenfurt.

According to the Daily Mirror, German media quoted witnesses as saying that the attacker yelled “Allahu Akbar” [God is Great] before hacking the passengers; suggesting that it was an Islamic attack.

“There are witnesses that suggest there may be an Islamic background to this but that is far from clear at this point,” Herrmann said.

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