Machete attack in Germany leaves 1 dead, 2 injured

A 21-year-old Syrian refugee killed a woman with a machete and injured two other people on Sunday before being arrested in the southern German city of Reutlingen, a police spokesman said.

Police have arrested alleged attacker indentified as a 21-year-old Syrian refugee man

Suspect arrested in German machete attack

6 years ago
Duration 0:43
A machete attack near Stuttgart has left one dead and two others injured

A 21-year-old Syrian refugee was arrested on Sunday 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 linked to terrorism.

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

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.

Police stand at the scene of where a 21-year-old Syrian refugee killed a woman with a machete and injured two other people in the city of Reutlingen, Germany. (Vincent Kessler/Reuters)

"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 afterward 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.

It was the fourth act of violence against civilians in western Europe, and the third in southern Germany, in the past week-and-a-half.

On Friday, an 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.

Police arrested the machete-wielding man and said he had been involved in previous incidents causing injuries to others. (Christoph Schmidt/dpa via Associated Press)

Unlike neighbours France and Belgium, Germany has not suffered a major deadly attack by Islamist militants in recent years, though security officials say they have thwarted a large number of plots.

But opposition critics pin the blame for any violent attacks by migrants on Merkel's liberal refugee policy.

A leader of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) posted a Twitter message after the Munich shooting that said, "Merkel's unity party: thank you for the terror in Germany and Europe!" The message was later deleted.