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Czech police detain two linked to accused German railway attacker

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VIENNA/PRAGUE (Reuters) – Czech police have detained two people as suspected associates of an Iraqi citizen arrested in Austria on suspicion of carrying out attacks on the German railway, Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl said on Thursday.

Czech police confirmed on their Twitter page that officers detained two foreigners at Prague Airport on a warrant issued in Vienna on Wednesday but gave no details. They said only that a court would decide on any extradition to Austria.

Kickl, speaking on Thursday in Austria’s parliament, also gave no details of the arrests. An interior ministry spokesman declined to comment.

On Wednesday, Austrian prosecutors said police in Vienna had arrested the 42-year-old Iraqi on suspicion of involvement in two failed attacks on Germany’s national railway.

They said the Iraqi admitted committing attacks in October and December aimed at derailing trains by damaging or tampering with steel cables, but denied having a terrorist motive.

“Arabic writings found near the crime scene as well as a flag of the so-called Islamic State justify suspicion of terroristic (intent),” a prosecutors statement said.

(Reporting by Kirst Knolle in Vienna and Jason Hovet in Prague; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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