GERMANY CRIME MACHETE ATTACK.jpg
A picture made available on 25 July 2016 shows police arrests the attacker at the scene of a machete attack in Reutlingen, Germany, 24 July 2016.
Photograph: EPA/STEPHAN ZENKE ATTENTION EDITORS: Faces pixelated by source over personal rioghts

The Syrian man accused of stabbing to death a female co-worker in south-western Germany was also in a relationship with her, police and prosecutors said Monday.

The 21-year-old Syrian used a deli knife to attack the woman in the south-western city of Reutlingen on Sunday following a dispute.

The suspect and the 45-year-old victim, who came from Poland, worked in a fast-food kebab restaurant for several months prior to the attack.

The reason behind the dispute and the motive for the killing was still unclear.

Police also did not confirm reports of the victim being pregnant.

After an initial interrogation, police said the asylum seeker seems to suffer from mental illness. "He was interrogated and can only provide partial information on the course of events," a police spokesman said.

The attack took place outside the central bus station in Reutlingen.

The suspect injured five people with a knife while trying to flee the scene and was incapacitated by a witness who mowed him down with her car. Authorities previously reported that the attacker had used a machete.

The suspect is in intensive care and being guarded by the police. He was known to police for crimes including grievous bodily harm, theft and drug possession, a police spokesman said.

Poles living in Reutlingen expressed interest in organizing a funeral march for the victim on Saturday, Polish news agency PAP reported, but there has been no confirmation from the city.

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