A 21-year-old Syrian refugee was arrested after killing a woman with a machete and injuring two other people in the southern German city of Reutlingen on Sunday, but the attack had no apparent connection to terrorism, police said.
The asylum-seeking Syrian man had been involved in previous incidents causing injuries to other people, and was apparently acting alone, a police spokesman said. The spokesman had no immediate information on when the man arrived in Germany, or when the previous incidents took place.
“There is no danger to anyone else at this time,” he said. “Given the current evidence, there is no indication that this was a terrorist attack,” police said in a statement. It was the fourth act of violence against civilians in western Europe – and the third in southern Germany – in 10 days. Two of the attacks were claimed by Islamic State militants.
In Sunday’s incident, the Syrian man attacked two women and a man at around 16:30 CET near the central bus station in Reutlingen, about 40 km south of Stuttgart, according to a police statement. One of the women later died of her wounds, it said. The mass-circulation newspaper Bild said the woman was pregnant.
“The attacker was completely out of his mind. He even ran after a police car with his machete,” Bild quoted a witness as saying. The witness told Bild a private motorist knocked down the attacker soon afterward and he was then taken into custody by police. On Friday, a deranged 18-year-old Iranian-German who was obsessed with mass killings shot dead nine people in Munich before turning his gun on himself as police approached.
On July 18, a 17-year-old youth who had sought asylum in Germany was shot dead by police after wounding four people from Hong Kong, some of them severely, with an axe on a train and injuring a local resident near the city of Wuerzburg.
Four days before, a Tunisian delivery man drove a large truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in the French Riviera city of Nice, killing 84 people. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Wuerzburg and Nice attacks. German police said the Munich gunman had no link with militant Islam or the issue of refugees in Germany.