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Dusseldorf train station axe attack injures seven, man arrested: police

Special forces walk in the main train station in Dusseldorf following the axe attack.

PHOTO: Special forces walk in the main train station in Dusseldorf following the axe attack. (AP: David Young)

 

A man was arrested after injuring seven people with an axe at the main train station in Duesseldorf, Germany in what appeared to be a random attack.

Officers were alerted to an attack shortly before 9:00pm local time, prompting a large-scale police response.

“A person, probably armed with an axe, attacked people at random,” police said in a statement. Seven people were injured, three of them seriously, they said.

The suspected attacker was arrested after jumping off an overpass near the train station. The 36-year-old man, described as being from “the former Yugoslavia” and living in the nearby city of Wuppertal, suffered serious injuries and was being treated in a hospital.

“The suspect appears to have had psychological problems,” police said.

An axe was recovered and officers were searching the area in and around the station, which was closed for the investigation. Police withdrew an earlier report that a second person had been arrested, saying later that they were working on the assumption the man had acted alone.

German authorities have heightened security measures following a series of attacks in public places over the past year.

In one attack last July, a 17-year-old Afghan asylum-seeker traveling on a train near Wuerzburg injured five people with an axe and a knife before being shot dead by police. The attack was later claimed by the Islamic State group.

Travellers and bystanders are cordoned off by police outside the Dusseldorf main station.

PHOTO: Travellers and bystanders are kept away by police outside the Dusseldorf main station. (AP: Federico Gambarini)

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