A 17-year-old Afghan refugee wielding an ax and a knife attacked passengers on a train in southern Germany on Monday evening, severely wounding four, before he was shot dead by police, the interior minister for the state of Bavaria said.
Speaking on German public television, Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said it was too early to speculate about the motives of the attacker, who he said was believed to have been living in a home for unaccompanied minors in Ochsenfurt, near the city of Wuerzburg.
The attack comes just days after a Tunisian delivery man plowed a 19-tonne truck into crowds of Bastille Day revelers in the southern French city of Nice, killing 84.
It is likely to deepen worries about so-called “lone wolf” attacks in Europe and could put political pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who welcomed hundreds of thousands of migrants to Germany over the past year.
“The attacker appears to have been a 17-year-old Afghan who has been living in Ochsenfurt for some time,” Herrmann said. “He suddenly attacked passengers with a knife and an ax, critically injuring several. Some of them may now be fighting for their lives.”