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Salez incident

Swiss train attacker did not know victims

The Swiss man who attacked passengers on a train in eastern Switzerland with a knife and a flammable liquid last Saturday, killing one and wounding five, did not know any of his victims, prosecutors said on Tuesday. The police had earlier ruled out any links to terrorism.

A spokesman for the St Gallen prosecutors’ office Roman Dobler said on Tuesday there was no indication that the 27-year-old Swiss man’s act was linked to any political or religious extremism. He said neither was there any sign that the perpetrator had any personal links to the victims.

The police had already ruled out any connection to terrorism after the man attacked several passengers on the train on Saturday afternoon at 2.20pm near Salez station on the route between Buchs and Sennwald, on the Liechtenstein border.

Video footage showed the man using a knife in the attack and igniting flammable liquid. When the train pulled into Salez station, a passer-by dragged the attacker onto the platform, preventing the situation from worsening. Around 60 other passengers were on the train when it happened.

A 34-year-old woman died from her injuries on Sunday. The attacker was also confirmed dead after suffering serious burns. Police were not able to question him before he died.

Three victims remain in hospital: a 17-year-old girl in life-threatening condition as well as a 6-year-old girl and a 43-year-old woman, both of whom are considered to be out of danger, police said.

The authorities are still trying to determine what may have prompted the vicious attack. Little information has been released on the identity of the man. The spokesman confirmed on Tuesday that the suspect was officially a resident of Tuggen in canton Schwyz but also had a residence at Eschen in Liechtenstein, which has been searched in conjunction with authorities there.

In that and other searches, authorities seized electronic devices, such as computers, hard drives and a mobile telephone, which are being analysed, Dobler said.

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swissinfo.ch with agencies


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