Saturday 23 June 2018

Man arrested in Germany after pregnant woman killed with machete

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Photo: REUTERS/Stefanie Loos
German Chancellor Angela Merkel Photo: REUTERS/Stefanie Loos

Andrea Shalal

A 21-year-old Syrian refugee was arrested yesterday after killing a pregnant woman with a machete in Germany, the fourth violent assault on civilians in western Europe in 10 days, though police said it did not appear to be linked to terrorism.

But the incident may add to unease about Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door refugee policy that has seen over a million migrants enter Germany in the past year, many fleeing war in Afghanistan and Syria.

German police said they arrested the machete-wielding Syrian asylum-seeker after he killed a woman and injured two other people in the southwestern city of Reutlingen near Stuttgart.

The Syrian had been involved in previous incidents causing injuries to others, and had apparently acted alone, a police spokesman said.

"Given the current evidence, there is no indication that this was a terrorist attack," a police statement said.

"The attacker was completely out of his mind. He even ran after a police car with his machete," the mass-circulation 'Bild' newspaper quoted a witness as saying. A motorist knocked down the attacker soon afterwards and he was then taken into custody by police, the witness told 'Bild'. The police spokesman said the man was being interrogated after receiving medical treatment.

The Islamist militant Telegram channel seized the moment to urge more "lone wolf" attacks. "Perhaps [any] small attack you do may add to the cause for the disbelieving [governments] to finally retreat from attack or oppressing Muslim lands," the group said in an online post, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

Irish Independent

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