BERLIN: A man armed with a knife attacked people on a bus in the northern German city of Luebeck on Friday, wounding at least 14 people, two seriously, before being arrested by police, the local Luebecker Nachrichten newspaper reported.
Schleswig-Holstein police said no one was killed in the incident and confirmed that the suspect was in custody. They did not immediately give further details.
Luebecker Nachrichten cited a prosecutor as saying terrorism could not be ruled out as a motive.
The paper, which reported the attacker appeared to be in his mid-30s, quoted a witness as saying: “One of the victims had just given up his place to an older woman, when the attacker stabbed him in the chest.”
An area around a bus stop in the Luebeck neighbourhood of Kuecknitz was sealed off by police, spokesman Dierk Duerbook told Bild newspaper.
Earlier, police in Schleswig-Holstein, the state where Luebeck is located, tweeted that there was a major police deployment under way in the city.
Luebeck police did not immediately respond to repeated calls for comment.
Germany had long warned of the threat of more violence after several attacks claimed by the IS group, the bloodiest of which was a truck rampage through a Berlin Christmas market in December 2016 that left 12 people dead.
The attacker, Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri, hijacked a truck and murdered its Polish driver before killing another 11 people and wounding dozens more by ploughing the heavy vehicle through the festive market in central Berlin.
He was shot dead by Italian police in Milan four days later while on the run.
Germany has since been targeted again in attacks with radical motives.
In July 2017, a 26-year-old Palestinian asylum seeker wielding a knife stormed into a supermarket in the northern port city of Hamburg, killing one person and wounding six others before being detained by passers-by.
German prosecutors said the man likely had a “radical” motive.
The IS also claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in 2016, including the murder of a teenager in Hamburg, a suicide bombing in the southern city of Ansbach that wounded 15, and an axe attack on a train in Bavaria that left five injured.
In June 2018, German police said they foiled what would have been the first biological attack with the arrest of a Tunisian suspected militant in possession of the deal poison ricin and bomb-making material.
Germany remains a target for militant groups, in particular because of its involvement in the coalition fighting IS in Iraq and Syria, and its deployment in Afghanistan since 2001.
Germany’s security services estimate there are around 11,000 radicals in Germany, some 980 who are deemed particularly dangerous and capable of using violence. A hundred and fifty of these potentially dangerous individuals have been detained for various offences.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has allowed in more than one million asylum seekers since 2015 — a decision that has driven the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which charges that the influx spells a heightened security risk. — Agencies