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Slovakia school attack: Knifeman kills one, injures five before being shot dead by police

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By Euronews with AP, AFP
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Police officers secure the area after of a shooting at the primary and secondary school in Vrutky, Slovakia, Thursday, June 11, 2020.
Police officers secure the area after of a shooting at the primary and secondary school in Vrutky, Slovakia, Thursday, June 11, 2020.   -   Copyright  Erika Durcova/TASR via AP
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A man armed with a knife attacked a school in Slovakia on Thursday, killing one person and wounding at least five before he was killed by police, the authorities said.

It happened in the town of Vrutky in the north of the country about 180 kilometres from Bratislava, at the United School which takes children from kindergarten through to high school.

The victim was the high school's deputy director, according to the authorities. Three adults and two children were treated in a hospital in Martin, the Slovak rescue service said, without giving more details.

The attacker was identified as a 22-year-old man from the nearby town of Martin, who is said to have been a former pupil at the school. He was shot dead by police about 200 metres from the school.

"He broke the glass door to enter, staff tried to stop him and he used a knife he had brought with him," the head of Slovakia's police force Milan Lucansky said on Facebook.

"He inflicted a fatal wound to the deputy director and wounded a caretaker, then penetrated the interior of the building where he seriously injured a female teacher, then two children who he stabbed several times," he went on.

"He then tried to escape while the caretaker ran to catch him. A police officer took up the chase but he tried to defend himself with the knife, so they (the police) used their weapons and killed him."

Slovak President Zuzana Caputova said she felt great sorrow and offered her condolences to the relatives of the victims and support for those who were wounded, teachers and police.

The interior minister went to the scene while the Prime Minister Igor Matovic broke off from a meeting in the Czech Republic to pass on "sincere condolences" to the victim's family.

"Unfortunately, there are crazy people living among us and we're not able to prevent such a situation," Matovic said.