German axe attack: Islamic State flag found in teenager's room

Seventeen-year-old refugee shot dead after seriously injuring three people on commuter train

Germany axe attack
(Image credit: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/AFP/Getty Image)

A hand-painted Islamic State flag has been found in the bedroom of an Afghan teenager said to have carried out an axe and knife attack on a German train, officials say.

The 17-year-old injured four people, three of them seriously, on a regional commuter train travelling between the Bavarian towns of Treuchtlingen and Wurzburg on Monday night. He was shot dead by police, reports German news website Deutsche Welle.

Bavaria's interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, said the attacker was a 17-year-old asylum-seeker who had arrived in Germany as an unaccompanied minor and had been living with a foster family in Ochsenfurt, south of Wurzburg, for "a few months".

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Herrmann told German television the flag had been found among the teenager's belongings in his room, but said it was too early to say whether he was a member of an Islamist group or had become self-radicalised.

One witness claims the youth shouted "Allahu akbar" ("God is great"), while the IS-linked Amaq news agency has said he was an IS "fighter", reports the BBC.

Local media reports in China have identified the victims as a group of tourists from Hong Kong.

According to the South China Morning Post, they are a married couple, their 27-year-old daughter and her 31-year-old boyfriend, all from Hong Kong. Their 17-year-old son travelling with them was not hurt, it said.

A source told the paper the father and boyfriend had tried to protect the other members of the group.

Germany initially welcomed refugees but has since begun to take a much tougher line, declaring it would deport Afghan asylum-seekers whose applications were rejected, reports The Guardian.

Afghans have been the second largest group to enter the European Union in recent months, with 178,230 seeking asylum in the EU's 28 states in 2015, adds the paper.

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