At least three people have died and six have been wounded in the German city of Würzburg, in Bavaria, around 120 kilometers (74.5 miles) east of Frankfurt, after they were attacked on Friday by a man wielding a large knife. The incident took place on Barbarossaplatz, a square in the city center. Videos posted on social media showed pedestrians surrounding the attacker and holding him at bay with chairs and sticks. “He had a really big knife with him and was attacking people,” a witness said. The man has been arrested. The suspect was shot in the leg. The situation was now under control, police said. A motive behind the attack was not clear. Police urged people to refrain from speculation and not to share videos of the incident on social media as respect for the privacy of victims.
Wuerzburg is a city of about 130,000 people. Bavaria’s governor Markus Soeder expressed shock at the news of the attack. “We grieve with the victims and their families,” he wrote on Twitter. Germany has been on high alert after several deadly Islamist extremist attacks in recent years. The number of Islamists considered dangerous in Germany rose sharply between 2015 and 2018, according to security services. There have been other assaults by knife-wielding people. In October 2017,as an example, a knife-wielding man randomly attacked passersby in central Munich, lightly injuring eight people.