Six passengers were injured when a 27-year old Swiss man poured out flammable liquid inside a train in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen and set it alight, local police say. The alleged perpetrator was also armed with a knife.
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“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,” St. Gallen cantonal police said in a statement.
The assailant was also among the seven people injured, police say. Six passengers “have been hospitalized with knife and burn injuries.”
“At least one child is among those wounded,” Bruno Metzger, a spokesperson for St. Gallen police, is quoted as saying by St. Galler’s Tagblatt newspaper.
“Apart from a large presence of St. Gallen canton police, fire brigades, three helicopters and two emergency doctors,” have been dispatched to the site of the attack, police added.
According to Radio FM1, the perpetrator spilled the flammable liquid on a female passenger and then set it on fire.
Police have opened a criminal investigation into the case and are looking into possible motives for the attack.
“A crime of passion” is one of the possibilities the Swiss police is currently investigating, Reuters reports. The outlet adds that, according to the police spokesperson, “a terrorism background still seems very, very far-fetched.”
The attack happened at 2:20 a.m. local time as the train was traveling between the towns of Buchs and Sennwald, located in northeast Switzerland.
Law enforcement has secured the train near the Salez railway station. The Daily Mail also reports that the country’s Interior Minister is currently holding an emergency meeting.
A similar assault was committed by an asylum seeker believed to be from Afghanistan or Pakistan who injured five fellow passengers while travelling on a train near the German town of Wurzburg on July 18. The perpetrator had earlier pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
After that attack, another refugee assaulted and killed a woman with a machete in the city of Reutlingen. In addition, on July 24 a Syrian refugee set off a suicide bomb at a festival in the city of Ansbach, injuring 15 people. That attacker had also pledged allegiance to IS.
However, the deadliest assault over the past months took place near the Olympia shopping mall in Munich on July 22, when a German-Iranian killer went on a rampage, killing nine people and injuring over 30 others. That perpetrator was shot dead by police.
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