Afghan’s German train attack was ‘revenge’ for friend’s death

Berlin, July 20 (IANS) An Afghan teenager who attacked passengers on a German train with an axe, badly injuring four people, was out to avenge the death of his friend in Afghanistan, said prosecutors in Germany.

Bavarian regional prosecutor Erik Ohlenschlager said the 17-year-old Afghan was a devout Muslim and on learning about his friend’s death he wanted to get revenge on “infidels” who killed him. The youngster even accepted that his own death was a possibility.

The teenager, during the attack on board the train on Monday evening in Wuerzburg, injured four people, two critically, BBC reported.

The young man, whose identity is protected by law, arrived in Germany a year ago as an unaccompanied refugee.

He was shot dead by police as he fled.

The Islamic State group (IS) released a video purporting to show the teenager making threats while brandishing an axe. He claimed to be an “IS soldier” preparing for a suicide mission.

German officials said they later found a hand-painted IS flag in his room.

Ohlenschlager said the attack was “definitely politically motivated”.

However, Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said there was no indication that the teenager had direct contact with IS.

The teenager reportedly shouted the Islamic phrase “Alla-hu-akbar” (“God is great”) as he mounted the attack.

A police official said on Tuesday that two of the five people injured were in a “life-threatening” condition.

Inside the carriage, a 62-year-old man, his 58-year-old wife, their daughter, 27, and her boyfriend, 27, were attacked, while their 17-year old son was not hurt. They were from Hong Kong.

The father and boyfriend had tried to protect the other members of the group.

Herrmann said there was no indication Chinese citizens had been specifically targeted.

Another woman was injured outside the train as the man fled and 14 people were treated for shock.

A news agency with links to IS said the boy had launched the attack “in answer to the calls to target the countries of the coalition fighting Islamic State”.

Herrmann said those who had interacted with the teenager in recent months described him as calm and quiet and they could not understand his actions.

The teenager had gone to the mosque “on special occasions”, he said, adding that no-one ever noticed any radical behaviour.

He had a placement in a bakery and was likely to secure paid employment soon.

The Afghan teenager was living with a foster family since moving from a refugee centre in the town two weeks ago.

The axe attack came days after a lorry ploughed into a crowd in Nice in France, killing 84 people. IS claimed that one of its “followers” had carried out the attack.

–IANS

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