Police line in Germany
Police line in Germany iStock

An off-duty police officer and two other passengers on a regional train in Germany overpowered an Iraq-born man who wounded five people, including the officer with a knife on Friday, authorities said, according to The Associated Press.

A top law enforcement official said the 31-year-old attacker had been investigated for possible Islamic extremism while living in a refugee hostel in 2017, but that the motive for the train attack hadn't been determined.

Four of the injured were treated in hospital for wounds to their hands or face and head, while one victim had been stabbed in the shoulder blade. None were in life-threatening condition. The attacker was also injured and taken to a clinic, according to AP.

The train had just pulled out of the station at Herzogenrath near the border with the Netherlands and was heading for the western German city of Aachen at 7:42 a.m. local time when the man began attacking fellow passengers “randomly and arbitrarily,” state interior minister Herbert Reul said.

He praised the courage of the 60-year-old off-duty officer and passengers who had “prevented worse harm.”

German news agency dpa quoted Aachen prosecutors saying they had no hard evidence so far that the attack was motivated by Islamism, but that there were signs the man may have been suffered from diminished responsibility because of psychological problems.

Germany has been hit by several terrorist attacks in recent years and has been on high alert as a result.

In one attack, a 17-year-old Afghani with an axe attacked passengers on a train in Wurzburg before being shot dead by security forces.

In a second incident, an attacker set off a bomb in a restaurant in Ansbach, killing himself and wounding 12 others.

The worst such attack took place in December of 2016, when Tunisian terrorist Anis Amri killed 12 people and injured dozens more when he drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin.

This past October, a knife-wielding attacker killed one tourist and seriously injured another in the city of Dresden. Prosecutors later said the incident is being treated as a terrorist attack.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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