Germany – An Afghan teenager attacked passengers on a train in southern Germany on Monday night, leaving at least three people in critical condition. The attacker was shot dead by officers as he fled.

A man attacked and injured up to 20 people on a train in Heidingsfeld, near Würzburg. Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann stated in an interview on German television ARD that the attacker was a 17-year-old Afghan refugee. When he got off the train, he intended to flee, and he was shot dead by a police team that was near the area at the moment of the attack, Hermann added.

Rescuers at the scene of an axe and knife attack by a 17-year-old Afghan refugee on a regional train in Wuerzburg. Credits: AFP Photo/Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/Yahoo!

The weapons the attacker used to wound passengers after the train pulled off were an ax and a knife, detectives said. It was also confirmed that the teenager was the only suspect involved in the attack.

Later reports by Würzburg police on their Facebook page say that four people were wounded. Three of them were severely injured and are currently in critical condition. Other 14 people suffered from shock and were being treated.

The refugee lived with a foster family

The 17-year-old was believed to be an unaccompanied refugee that entered the country last year, Hermann said, according to NBC. The Minister also shared that the suspect had been living in Würzburg for some time, and recently moved with a foster family in Ochsenfurt, south of the city. Authorities have not yet released his identity.

More than 1 million migrants entered Germany last year. Over 150,000 people from Afghanistan were registered. However, authorities have not yet confirmed if the suspect was one of them.

Although motives for the attack have not been established yet, authorities are investigating reports that say that some witnesses heard the attacker shout “Allahu Akbar” (“God Is Great”) during the rampage, linking the event to Islamic extremism, the Associated Press reports.

The train pulled off from Treuchtlingen to Würzburg, and the attack took place when the train stopped at Würzburg-Heidingsfeld. The line has been shut while the police are still investigating.

The attack follows last week attempt in Nice, France, when a truck driven by a terrorist ran over and killed 84 people during Bastille Day festivities.

A previous attack occurred in May in Germany, when a man killed one person and injured three others with a knife. It was later reported that the 27-year-old man, author of the attack, was mentally unstable and confessed to having used drugs that day. There was no evidence of religious motives. He was arrested and carried to a psychiatric hospital.

Source: NBC News