Police Treating Stabbing Of 3 At U.K. Train Station As Terrorism

January 1, 2019

A man accused of stabbing three people at a busy railway station in Manchester, England, on Monday is in custody. Authorities said Tuesday that the incident is being treated as a terrorist attack.

Just before 9 p.m. local time on New Year’s Eve, four British transportation police officers heard a disturbance on one of the platforms at Manchester Victoria station, according to a statement from the agency.

BBC producer Sam Clack, who was at the station when the attack happened, said he heard a “blood-curdling scream.”

The transportation officers rushed to the scene where, within minutes, they detained a man holding a knife, Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of Greater Manchester Police said in a statement.

Clack told the BBC he saw police use pepper spray and a Taser to detain the man, who he said was “resisting arrest.” He said that he heard the man with the knife shout “Allah” and a “slogan criticizing Western governments.”

One of the officers, a police sergeant in his thirties, received a stab wound to the shoulder.

The officer has since been discharged from the hospital, but Hopkins said on Tuesday that two other people who sustained “serious injuries” from the attack were still in the hospital. The Associated Press reports that a man and woman suffered abdominal injuries. The woman’s face was also wounded.

Hopkins said the police are investigating the stabbing as a terrorist attack.

“We are treating this as a terrorist investigation which is being led by counter terrorism officers with support from Greater Manchester Police,” said Hopkins. “This detailed work will continue and we are currently searching an address in the Cheetham Hill area of Manchester which is believed to be where the man had most recently been living.”

The suspect has been arrested on “suspicion of attempted murder,” according to a statement from officials, but AP reports that the police have not provided a motive for the attack.

The AP reports that police say there’s no indication that anyone helped the attacker plan or execute the assault, but that extra police officers were patrolling Manchester’s streets on Tuesday “as a precaution.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted her response to the attack on Tuesday: “My thoughts are with those who were injured in the suspected terrorist attack in Manchester last night. I thank the emergency services for their courageous response.”

The station where the attack happened is next to Manchester Arena, where 22 people were killed in a bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in 2017. That attack was Europe’s 13th terrorist attack since the beginning of 2015, NPR’s Greg Myre reported after the bombing.

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