German police have shot dead a young Afghan refugee after he attacked passengers on a train with an axe and a knife, seriously wounding three people.
Several others were also hurt in the attack on a train on Monday night near the southern city of Wuerzburg, police said, adding the teenager was killed as he tried to flee.
Joachim Herrmann, the interior minister of Bavaria state, said the attacker was a 17-year-old Afghan who had lived in nearby Ochsenfurt.
“He suddenly attacked passengers with a knife and an axe, critically injuring several. Some of them may now be fighting for their lives,” Herrmann said.
Among those injured were four people from Hong Kong, according to the South China Morning Post.
Al Jazeera’s Dominic Kane, reporting from Berlin, said the refugee “came to Germany as an unaccompanied refugee” and had “been in the care of a welfare organisation”, citing the interior ministry in Bavaria.
He added the authorities “are looking into what may have been said [by the assailant] during the incident”.
The alleged attacker’s motivation, however, remained unclear, Kane said.
The incident is likely to deepen worries about so-called “lone wolf” attacks in Europe, and could put political pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Bavaria is governed by the Christian Social Union (CSU), sister party to Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats.
Merkel’s popularity has rebounded recently but the attack in Bavaria is likely to revive political tensions.
Germany welcomed about one million refugees in 2015, including thousands of unaccompanied minors. Many were fleeing war in countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The attack happened around 1915 GMT on the train, which runs between Treuchlingen and Wuerzburg in Bavaria.
In May, a mentally-unstable 27-year-old man carried out a similar knife attack on a train in southern Germany, killing one person and injuring three others. He is being held in a psychiatric hospital.[Source: Al Jazeera]