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Double stabbing at Amsterdam station in possible terror attack

Two people were seriously injured in a knife attack at Amsterdam's Central Station [AFP]

Date of publication: 1 September, 2018

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Two people were seriously injured in a knife attack at Amsterdam's Central Station on Friday, police in Amsterdam said, citing terrorism as a possible motive.
Two people were seriously injured in a knife attack at Amsterdam's Central Station on Friday, police in Amsterdam said, citing terrorism as a possible motive.

Panic broke out when two bystanders were stabbed by a knife-wielding man at the Dutch capital's main station shortly after midday on Friday.

The victims, who were being treated in hospital for serious injuries, were identified as US nationals.

"We are aware that both victims were US citizens and have been in touch with them and their families," US Ambassador Pete Hoekstra said in a statement.

Police later identified the suspect as a 19-year-old Afghan man with a German residency permit.

The suspect was questioned about his intent late Friday at the hospital where he was being treated for gunshot wounds while under guard, Amsterdam City Hall said in a statement.

"We are seriously taking into account that there was a terrorist motive," an Amsterdam police spokesman, Frans Zuiderhoek, told AFP late on Friday.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the assailant did not know his victims and that he did not specifically target them.

"The victims were not chosen deliberately or with a clear reason," Amsterdam authorities said.

"The investigation is still underway, and all scenarios remain open for the investigation team."

The attack comes a day after an announcement by Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders that he was planning to cancel plans to stage a cartoon competition to caricature the Prophet Mohammad, a plan that had angered many Muslims.

Wilders' initial controversial announcement to hold the contest saw angry protests, particularly in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement, calling on Muslims to attack Dutch troops and calling Wilders' plan "a hostile act by this country (the Netherlands) against all Muslims".

Earlier this week, police arrested another man - believed to be Pakistani - at The Hague's Central Station after he posted a film on Facebook saying he was planning to assassinate the blond-haired Wilders, well known for his virulent anti-Islamic views.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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