Syrian Refugee in Germany Arrested After Killing Woman in Machete Attack

Andrea Shalal, Reuters, July 24, 2016

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.


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.

“The attacker was completely out of his mind. He even ran after a police car with his machete,” the mass-circulation Bid 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 Bid. {snip}


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.

The gunman, identified by investigative sources as David Sonboly, opened fire near a busy shopping mall, killing nine people and wounding 35 more, before turning his pistol on himself as police approached several hours later.

Bavarian state investigators said materials found in his home showed the gunman had begun plotting the attack a year ago after visiting the site of a 2009 school shooting in southwest Germany in which 15 people were killed.

Munich police on Sunday arrested a 16-year-old Afghan youth as a possible “tacit accomplice” to the shooting and said he was suspected of having failed to report the gunman’s plans.


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