German police are investigating whether a 17-year-old Afghan refugee who injured five people during a stabbing attack on a commuter train in southern Germany was motivated by radical Islam, Bavaria's top security official said Tuesday.
The refugee, whose stabbing spree with a knife and an axe occurred at 9:15 pm (1915 GMT) on a train nearing the German city of Wuerzburg, reportedly yelled out an "Islamist exclamation" before being shot dead by police, Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told dpa.
A "hand-painted Islamic State flag" was later found in the teen's room, Herrman told public broadcaster ZDF, adding that investigators were working on the assumption that the teen acted alone.
The teen's motive has not been definitively established, but similar attacks in Germany have been linked to radical Islam. In May, a man allegedly shouted "Alluha Akbar" (God is great) before killing one person and wounding three others at a train station near Munich.
Four of five victims of Monday's attack were members of a family of tourists from Hong Kong. The 62-year-old father, his 58-year-old wife, their daughter, 26, and her boyfriend, 30, were seriously injured, while the couple's 17-year-old son escaped unscathed.
Another person sustained slight injuries in the attack, while 14 passengers on the train suffered from shock. A witness who lives near the location where the train was brought to a halt told dpa the compartment looked "like a slaughterhouse" after the attack.
The Afghan boy who committed the attacks is one of 96,000 unaccompanied minors who entered Europe as refugees in 2015, according to UNICEF. Many of them suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.