‘No indication’ of terrorism in Swiss train attack

"Terrorism is not our main theory," police spokesman Bruno Metzger told AFP

By: AFP | Geneva | Published: August 14, 2016 8:12 pm
swiss train, swiss train attack, train attack, Switzerland, Switzerland train attack, Switzerland attack Workers clean a platform after a 27-year-old Swiss man’s attack on a Swiss train (back C) at the railway station in the town of Salez, Switzerland August 13, 2016. REUTERS

Swiss police said on Sunday there was no indication a stabbing and fire attack on a passenger train was an act of terror, as a female victim and the assailant died of their injuries.

Five other people were hurt in Saturday’s assault in eastern Switzerland, including a six-year-old girl who was seriously injured.

“The question of motive remains,” police in the Saint Gallen region said in a statement. “To date there is no indication this was a terrorist or politically-motivated act.”

While no motives have been ruled out, the police statement should calm some of the speculation circulating since Saturday’s attack, which followed several violent, often deadly assaults in Europe, many of which were claimed by the Islamic State group.

“Terrorism is not our main theory,” police spokesman Bruno Metzger told AFP, adding that “other motives” figured far higher, although he would not say what they were.

A 27-year-old Swiss national used flammable liquid to start a fire on a moving train in eastern Switzerland at about 2:20 pm (1220 GMT) before stabbing passengers. The incident took place on the line between Buchs and Sennwald near Salez station, not far from the eastern border with Liechtenstein and Austria.

Dozens of people were on the train at the time, police said. Pictures published by Swiss media on Sunday showed burned-out seats by a blackened window, the seats covered with ash and the upholstery burnt to a crisp, while on the platform was a pool of blood.

Police said images of the attack had been caught on surveillance footage, allowing them to determine that the man had acted alone.

The footage, which was not immediately made public, showed the man, who was carrying a knife, pouring out flammable liquid and setting it alight, police said.

A 34-year-old woman and the assailant died in hospital today, police said. The injured, who included two men aged 17 and 50, two women aged 17 and 43 and a six-year-old girl, suffered burns and stab wounds. One of the women and the child were in serious condition, police said.

The woman who died had been doused with a large amount of the flammable liquid, leading to speculation she might have been the target.

But Metzger said he could not confirm that, and another police spokesman Hanspeter Kruesi told AFP it did not appear the attack was directed at a single person.

He said it was unclear if the attacker, who did not have a criminal record, knew any of the victims.

For all the latest World News, download Indian Express App

  1. K
    Kamal Gaur
    Aug 15, 2016 at 3:07 am
    Though, Swiss authorities are not ruling out, any angles, but, Swiss are known to play cool in any hard situation and unlike, USA, does not reach to any conclusion, without full investigation. However, Swiss is becoming a hard nation to issue visa to tourists, who even does not intent to stay back there. As Swiss protect their nation to hard.
    1. G
      George thakur
      Aug 15, 2016 at 9:57 pm
      Does dictionary meaning of "Terrorism" in Switzerland differ from the dictionaries of the world?