Swordsman attacks Tamil church, killing woman

4th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

4 April 2005, STUTTGART - A man wielding a samurai sword killed a 43-year-old woman and seriously injured three others during a church service on Sunday in the German city of Stuttgart, police said.

4 April 2005

STUTTGART - A man wielding a samurai sword killed a 43-year-old woman and seriously injured three others during a church service on Sunday in the German city of Stuttgart, police said.

Police arrested the man at the door of the church, subduing him with pepper spray when he refused orders to surrender. Police said that the attack was motivated by a personal relationship, and no political motive was suspected.

Dozens of worshippers - mainly Tamil and Indian nationals - were attending the afternoon service at the Methodist church when the man stormed the building swinging a sword.

Police officers arriving at the scene reported finding "grisly" circumstances. "Severed limbs were lying all around the church," said police spokeswoman Sybille Ahlborn.

Reports said that panic broke out during the attack, with worshippers using stools to defend themselves and others managing to escape. The suspect, who was also armed with a pistol that apparently went unused, seemed to hack randomly at worshippers.

The suspect was to appear before an arraigning judge on Monday, with police spokeswoman Sybille Ahlborn predicting complications.

"This will take some time. He can only be questioned through interpreters," she said.

Several witnesses were also to be called in to testify at the hearing.

The seriously wounded, two men and a woman, were meanwhile out of danger. One of the men's hands was cut off in the attack. The other seriously wounded man was the husband of the woman who was killed.

The arraigning judge is to decide whether the suspect is to be detained in prison or in a psychiatric clinic.

Initial inquiries pointed to some relationship problems as a possible motive in the attack which took place during a church service with some 65 people in attendance.

Police said that the man had made some threats in the church before Easter but nobody could foresee the bloodshed which occurred on Sunday.

DPA

Subject: German news

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