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German Police: Syrian Asylum Seeker Arrested In Machete Slaying

  • RFE/RL

A police line is seen near the site where a Syrian asylum seeker killed a woman and injured two people with a machete in Reutlingen, southern Germany, on July 24.

A police line is seen near the site where a Syrian asylum seeker killed a woman and injured two people with a machete in Reutlingen, southern Germany, on July 24.

German police say an asylum seeker from war-torn Syria killed a woman with a machete and injured two others in the southwestern city of Reutlingen before he was arrested by police.

Police in Reutlingen, south of Stuttgart, said in a July 24 statement that the 21-year-old suspect attacked the woman with a machete near the city's central train station earlier in the day, and that the victim died from her injuries.

Police said the attack occurred after the assailant and the victim began arguing and that he was acting alone. They did not disclose a possible motive but said that "given the current evidence, there is no indication that this was a terrorist attack."

The statement said that the suspect was "known to police" prior to the deadly assault.

Germany has been rattled by a pair of recent attacks.

In a July 18 incident, a 17-year-old asylum seeker believed to be from Afghanistan or Pakistan was shot dead by police after wounding passengers with an ax and knife on a train in southern Germany.

The militant Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attack, though German authorities have said the assailant had no direct ties to the terrorist organization.

On July 22, nine people were killed in a shooting rampage at a Munich mall by an 18-year-old German-Iranian man who is believed to have later killed himself one kilometer from the crime scene.

The July 24 machete slaying comes amid fierce debate in Germany and beyond over immigration policies and how to deal with the massive influx of refugees from Syria and other conflict-ravaged areas of the Middle East.

The issue has taken center stage in the U.S. presidential election as well, with Republican nominee Donald Trump citing the string of recent deadly attacks in Europe as evidence that the United States must enact drastic changes to its immigration policies to prevent terrorism at home.

The spate of high-profile violence in Germany follows the July 14 attack by a Tunisian man who drove a large truck into throngs of people celebrating Bastille Day on the streets of the French city of Nice.

IS militants also claimed responsibility for that attack.

With reporting by Reuters and AP
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