Switzerland: Six injured in attack on Swiss train; motive unknown, police say

Authorities did not yet know the motive for the attacks but a crime of passion was one possibility, Bruno Metzger of the St Gallen cantonal police said.

By: Reuters | Zurich | Published:August 14, 2016 1:00 am
swiss, swiss train, train attack, swiss train attack, Switzerland, zurich, Switzerland train attack, latest news, latest world news 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. (Source: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann)

Six people were injured in an attack aboard a Swiss train on Saturday by a man armed with a knife and flammable fluid, St Gallen cantonal police said.

Three adults, two teenagers and a child aged six were hurt, according to a police statement. Five were stabbed or burnt. A sixth suffered smoke inhalation as he came to the aid of the others. The assailant, a Swiss citizen, was also injured.

“According to current information, a 27-year-old Swiss man poured out a flammable liquid. He was also armed with at least one knife. The liquid caught fire,” the statement said. Authorities did not yet know the motive for the attacks but a crime of passion was one possibility, Bruno Metzger of the St Gallen cantonal police said in an interview with welt.de.

“A terrorism background still seems very, very far-fetched,” Metzger said. The assailant was in police custody, he said, but none of those injured – including the assailant – was responsive, so they could not be questioned. The police said a criminal inquiry was under way.

Both a woman and the attacker were in critical condition, according to Swiss broadcaster SRF, citing the St Gallen police. The cantonal police did not respond to a request for further information by email and could not be reached by phone.

The attack occurred at 2:20 p.m. (1220 GMT) as the train neared the Salez station on a trip between Buchs and Sennwald in St. Gallen, a canton in the northeast of the Alpine republic, the police statement said.

It was the first attack of its kind in Switzerland in recent memory. In December 2015, a 33-year-old Swiss man broke into his neighbours’ house in Rupperswil and killed four people before setting the house on fire, an incident that shocked the country.

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