One dead in knife attack in Hamburg supermarket

Assailant tried to flee but was chased and tackled by customers.

Germany's interior minister, Thomas de Maizière, expressed horror at the latest attack, but he cautioned against jumping to conclusions before the police finished their investigation.

His asylum status matches that of Anis Amri, who killed 12 people with a truck at a Berlin Christmas market on December 19.

"It remains unclear which was the overriding element", said Grote.

A witness told DPA news agency that the attacker repeatedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" (Arabic for "God is greatest") as he held up the knife.

"We continue to investigate every possibility", the police statement said. The 41-year-old man had been convicted in 2008 of planning an attack in Berlin against former Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi.

All of the injured are being treated or operated on in hospital, some of them with serious injuries, police said.

Police on Saturday said they had searched a refugee shelter in the Hamburg district of Langenhorn, where the 26-year-old suspect, from the United Arab Emirates, was believed to have been staying. There have been reports that he is a Palestinian.

Police investigators work at the crime scene after a knife attack in a supermarket in Hamburg, Germany, July 28, 2017. She said she had no information that the attacker was known to authorities as an Islamist, as reported by the newspaper Tagesspiegel. One victim died at the store.

Police then arrested the attacker. Amateur video showed young men throwing chairs at the suspect to subdue him.

"What we can say of the motive of the attacker at the moment is that on the one side there are indications that he acted based on religious Islamist motives, and on the other hand there are indications of psychological instability", Grote said.

Two German security officials said the suspect in the Hamburg knife attack was on the radar screen for expressing pro-jihadi views.

Bystanders followed the suspect and overpowered the man in a nearby street.

Plainclothes officers captured the man, who was slightly injured. "The first reports about a possible motive of a robbery have not been confirmed", Hamburg police tweeted.

Dortmund is one of several known centres of jihadi networks in Germany and was the home of Boban Simeonovic, a leading figure in an Isis-linked group found to be radicalising young men and sending them to fight in Syria.

  • Jack Mann