A Switzerland train attack has sent six people to the hospital after a knife-wielding assailant set fire to a train and stabbed passengers, The New Straits Times is reporting.
Authorities say the attack occurred at about 2:20 p.m. local time (7:20 a.m. Eastern Time), at the Salez train station, as the train was travelling between the cities of Buchs and Sennwald, near the Liechtenstein border. The assailant poured some sort of flammable liquid about the train, set it on fire, then began randomly stabbing passengers.
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) August 13, 2016
Six passengers and the assailant were taken to nearby hospitals. Some of the injured are described as having “serious” injuries, according to BBC News. The injured include a 7-year-old child, a girl and a boy, both 17, two women aged 34 and 43, and a man aged 50. “Dozens” of people were onboard the train at the time of the attack.
It is not clear, as of this writing, how the assailant was subdued.
The assailant has been identified as a 27-year-old Swiss citizen whose name has not been released as of this writing.
“According to the information we have for the time being, the 27-year-old Swiss man poured out a flammable liquid… [which] caught fire. [The assailant] was also armed with at least one knife.”
Meanwhile, dozens of police and emergency personnel have descended upon the Salez train station, which remains closed as of this writing.
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) August 13, 2016
As of this writing, authorities are not discussing a possible motive for the train attack, including whether or not the attack was an act of terrorism. A police spokesperson, speaking to The Telegraph, dismissed the possibility of terrorism – at least, for the moment.
“A terrorism background still seems very, very far-fetched.”
Europe has been the scene of multiple terrorist attacks in recent months, including attacks in Swiss neighbors Belgium and Germany.
Just last month, according to a BBC News report from the time, a 17-year-old refugee from Afghanistan, armed with a knife and an axe, attacked a train in Germany, injuring four people. He was shot dead by police as he left the train. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack and even released a video of a young man, described as an “ISIS soldier” and purporting to be the terrorist himself, preparing for a suicide mission. Police say the teenager wanted “revenge” on “infidels” who had harmed his Muslim friends.
— John M Knox (@johnmknox) July 21, 2016
Similarly, another refugee, this time from Syria, blew himself up at a music festival in Ansbach, Germany, injuring 12 people and killing himself, according to The Guardian. The 27-year-old had been denied asylum in Europe and was known to have made multiple attempts on his own life.
Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann said at the time that he was convinced it was an act of terrorism.
“My personal view is that I unfortunately think it is very likely this really was an Islamist suicide attack. The obvious intent to kill more people at least indicates an Islamist background.”
Authorities in nations across Europe have been on alert lately for so-called “lone wolf” attacks – that is, terrorist attacks in which terrorists act on their own, without help from ISIS but done so in ISIS’ name. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the majority of the recent terror attacks in Europe.
This is a developing story. More information will be provided about the Switzerland train attack as it becomes available.
[Image via Shutterstock/Paul Matthew Photography]