BERLIN: Nine people were injured Friday in an attack by a man wielding a knife on a bus in northern Germany, officials said Friday, although his motive remained unclear.
The packed bus was heading in the direction of Travemuende, a popular beach destination close to the city of Luebeck, when a man pulled the weapon on passengers, Luebeck chief prosecutor Ulla Hingst said.
Regional interior minister for Schleswig-Holstein state, Hans-Joachim Grote, told news agency DPA that six people suffered knife wounds and three others different injuries, while the attacker also punched the bus driver.
“Luckily no-one was killed,” Hingst said.
“The background to the act as well as exactly how it happened are completely unclear and the objects of our investigation.”
The bus driver had immediately stopped the vehicle, allowing passengers to escape.
“The passengers jumped out of the bus and were screaming. It was terrible. Then the injured were brought out. The perpetrator had a kitchen knife,” a witness who lives close to the scene, Lothar H., told local daily Luebecker Nachrichten.
An unnamed female passenger on the bus said one of those injured had only just given up his seat to an elderly woman, “when the perpetrator stabbed him in the chest.”
A police car which happened to be close by arrived at the scene quickly, allowing officers to detain the assailant, the newspaper reported.
Prosecutor Hingst told mass-market daily BILD that the suspected attacker is “a 34-year-old German citizen of Iranian origin”.
“We have no indication of political radicalisation of any kind,” she added.
Police from Schleswig-Holstein said on Twitter that “people were injured. No one was killed. The perpetrator was overpowered and is now in police custody.”
While the motive of the perpetrator has not yet been established, Germany has been on high alert after several deadly Islamist extremist attacks.