German police
German policeiStock

German police shot at a man who threatened officers with a sledgehammer and an incendiary device on the sidelines of a Euro 2024 soccer fan parade in central Hamburg on Sunday, police said, according to the Reuters news agency.

The attacker was injured in the leg and was receiving medical care but his condition is not life-threatening, a police spokesperson said.

"He apparently tried to set fire to this Molotov cocktail and then approached several people including police officers, and the police officers then had to make use of their firearms," said Hamburg police spokesperson Sandra Levgruen.

The man is a 39-year-old German, and may have been acting in a state of mental agitation as he emerged from a snack bar brandishing the weapons, police said in a press release. The investigation is ongoing.

There was no evidence that the man had any connection to the soccer tournament, Levgruen said, while the motive for his attack was not clear.

The incident occurred in the St Pauli district of the city ahead of Poland and the Netherlands' afternoon match at Hamburg's Volksparkstadion, which began on schedule.

While there is no indication at this time that the incident was terror-related, Germany has been on high alert for possible Islamist attacks for several years and especially since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7.

The country's domestic intelligence chief warned that the risk of such assaults is "real and higher than it has been for a long time".

In late October, police in the western German city of Essen arrested a man who plotted to attack a pro-Israel demonstration.

In December, a 15-year-old boy was arrested in western Germany on suspicion of planning a possible attack on a Christmas market.

Weeks later, German police arrested three people over an alleged attack plot targeting the cathedral in Cologne on New Year's Eve.

In late May, German authorities arrested two men suspected of plotting a knife attack on worshippers at a synagogue in the southwestern city of Heidelberg.

Earlier this month, anti-terrorism prosecutors in Germany took over an investigation into a knife attack in Mannheim that killed a police officer.