Entrance to train station
Entrance to train stationReuters

A knife-wielding man described as a “stateless Palestinian” on Wednesday fatally stabbed two people and injured seven others on a train in northern Germany before being grabbed by passengers and arrested by police, officials said, according to The Associated Press.

The motive of the attack was not immediately known.

Germany's Federal Police force said the suspect used a knife to attack several passengers shortly before a regional train traveling from Kiel to Hamburg arrived at the Brokstedt station.

Police spokesman Juergen Henningsen said two of the stabbed people died after the attack. Three were severely injured and four others suffered minor injuries. No details were given about the identity of the victims.

The attacker was also injured and taken to the hospital, police said.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser described the attack as “shocking news” and added, "The background to the crime is now being investigated at full speed. I would like to sincerely thank the police and rescue workers who responded."

Authorities said they were first alerted to the incident shortly before 3 p.m. when several passengers on the train made emergency calls to police. Police said the train was stopped and the attacker was detained outside the train after several passengers held him until officers arrived to detain him.

The interior minister of Schleswig-Holstein state, Sabine Suetterlin-Waack, told dpa that the attacker was a stateless 33-year-old Palestinian Arab man.

The train station in Brokstedt was closed for several hours and train traffic was delayed across northern Germany.

Germany has been hit by several terrorist attacks in recent years.

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.

In an attack in 2021, a knife-wielding attacker killed one tourist and seriously injured another in the city of Dresden.

Earlier this month, German police took into custody a 32-year-old Iranian citizen suspected of having procured deadly poisons cyanide and ricin to commit an "Islamist-motivated" attack.