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Four attacks in Germany, Switzerland in 24 hours

Unknown attackers launched a tear gas assault on a train in Hamburg, Germany, leaving at least six injured, while 50 passengers were affected, including a three-year-old girl. A massive police presence was deployed at the Hamburg train station soon after the attack.

Published: March 11, 2017, 7:17 am

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    The train was travelling to Hamburg Airport was packed when a gas attack overwhelmed passengers.

    Paramedics on the scene treated passengers for respiratory ailments, the German paper Bild reported. Two young children, aged three and six, were treated for burning eyes and breathing difficulties.

    The latest incident follows a 24 hour period in which the country witnessed an axe attack on a train and at the main railway station in Dusseldorf and a machete attack that injured an 80 year-old man in Dusseldorf earlier on Friday.

    On Friday evening passengers on a train in Hamburg on the S-Bahn line 11 were subjected to a tear gas attack by two young assaillants.

    The attack occurred just before the train reached Sternschanze station in the centre of Hamburg and passengers had to flee into the station to escape the gas.

    Federal police at the train station confirmed reports that the perpetrators were likely two young men who had fled the scene. Rüdiger Carstens, spokesman for the federal police added: “The recordings of the surveillance cameras were secured. The investigations continue.”

    Less than a month ago Hamburg airport had to be partially evacuated as the result of a similar attack when an unknown toxin was released through the airport’s ventilation system. Some 68 people had needed medical attention for breathing difficulties.

    In Düsseldorf, German police arrested a attacker who allegedly went on a rampage with an axe at the city’s main station on Thursday night that left at least seven people injured.

    The suspect jumped from a bridge in an attempt to escape police, but was apprehended and brought to a nearby hospital with severe injuries. Düsseldorf police later identified the suspect as a 36-year-old “from the former Yugoslavia”, while media reports say the man was Bosnian.

    German authorities called the suspect a “mentally ill” person who had “acted alone”.

    In the Swiss city of Basel, police on Friday were hunting for two gunmen who opened fire in a cafe leaving two people dead and a third critically wounded. The victims were identified as Albanians.

    A statement from the office of the local prosecutor said two men entered Cafe 56 early on Thursday and opened fire. They escaped on foot in the direction of a nearby railway station.

    While prosecutors said the motive for the crime was unknown, they believe the assailants specifically targeted the cafe. A police officer told The Associated Press that the attack was not terror-related: “This is a local incident. It has nothing to do with Islamists or terrorism.”

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