Police have discovered a "hand-painted" Islamic State flag in the room of a 17-year-old Afghan teenager who attacked several passengers on a regional train near Würzburg, Germany, on Monday night, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Hermann told public broadcaster ZDF on Tuesday morning.
Officials have not yet determined whether there are Islamist links to the attack. Hermann said he did not want to "participate in any speculation." The motive and background of the crime are still being investigated. A witness claimed that the perpetrator called out the words "Allahu akbar," or "God is great," during the attack. Police shot the perpetrator as he fled.
Two People in Critical Condition
The man, who has been identified as a refugee, attacked several passengers on the regional train near Würzburg with an axe and a knife on Monday night. He seriously injured four people and one lightly. Hermann now says that two of the victims are suffering from life-threatening injuries. Most of the victims are from Hong Kong and were visiting Germany as tourists. Fourteen other people are suffering from shock.
Hermann said all information gathered so far indicates the perpetrator had been acting on his own. The interior minister said the 17-year-old had been living in Germany for two years. Two weeks ago, he had moved from a home for refugee minors without families to a foster home.
German federal police are reporting that between 25 and 30 people were aboard the train, which had been traveling between the town of Treuchtlingen in Bavaria and Würzburg. The train had been close to its destination when the attack began. After emergency brakes stopped the train, the perpetrator fled.
A special police swat team that had coincidentally been in the area on another call then arrived at the scene. When the youth then tried to attack the team, police opened fire, killing the attacker with several shots.
Family from Hong Kong
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying confirmed that the four injured in the attack are from Hong Kong. Leung condemned the attack and expressed his condolences for the victims and their families.
The South China Morning Post is reporting that the victims were a family -- a father, mother, daughter and her boyfriend. A fifth person traveling with the group, their 17-year-old son, was not injured, the newspaper reported.