BERLIN (AP) — A 34-year-old woman died Sunday from wounds suffered after a man attacked her and four others with a knife and a burning liquid aboard a crowded train in Switzerland.
Police are still searching for a motive but said there’s no indication the suspect, identified only as a 27-year-old Swiss man from a neighboring region, had ties to extremist groups.
The suspect and three others, including a 6-year-old child, remained in critical condition Sunday with life-threatening wounds, St. Gallen canton (state) police spokesman Hans-Peter Kruesi told The Associated Press.
Swiss police searched his home after the Saturday afternoon attack on the train as it neared the station in Salez, close to the Liechtenstein border. Kruesi would not comment on what evidence was seized at the home in a neighboring canton, but said “so far there are no indications this was a terrorist or politically motivated crime.”
The suspect is suffering from serious burns himself, and police have not yet been able to question him, Kruesi said, adding that the man had no criminal record and was not previously known to police.
According to a video of the attack evaluated by police, the assailant acted alone, attacking passengers on the train between Buchs and Sennwald with his knife and then with a burning liquid, which is now being analyzed by a police forensics team.
Five passengers were wounded in the attack aboard the train, and a sixth person who was on the platform was wounded as he pulled the burning suspect off the train, police said.
Coming after a string of deadly attacks in Europe, the Swiss train attack again illustrates how difficult it is for authorities to protect the continent’s labyrinthine transport system, particularly against individuals often wielding unsophisticated and readily available weapons.
Last month in neighboring Germany, a 17-year-old refugee from Afghanistan used an ax and a knife to wound four tourists on a train, and stabbed a woman as he fled. The attacker was shot and killed by police and all his victims survived.
In May at a train station in the German state of Bavaria, a 27-year-old German man who had been in psychiatric care stabbed commuters, killing one and wounding three others before being apprehended by police.
And last year a heavily armed gunman opened fire on a high-speed Amsterdam to Paris train, but he was overpowered by two young American soldiers and their companion.
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