Injuries, some serious, after knife attack on German bus

A major police deployment is underway in the northern German city of Luebeck, above, after eight people were wounded in a suspected knife attack on a bus. (AFP)
Updated 20 July 2018

Injuries, some serious, after knife attack on German bus

  • At least eight people have been wounded in a stabbing incident in the northern German city of Luebeck
  • Major police deployment underway in Luebeck in Schleswig-Holstein state

BERLIN: At least eight people were wounded, two of them seriously, in a suspected knife attack on a bus in the northern German city of Luebeck, the local Luebecker Nachrichten newspaper reported on Friday.
Earlier, police in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, where Luebeck is located, tweeted that there was a major police deployment underway in the city.
“There is currently a major police deployment in Luebeck,” the police force wrote. “We are examining the situation and will give more information later.”

The packed bus was heading in the direction of Travemuende, a popular beach close to the city of Luebeck, when a man pulled a weapon on passengers, Luebecker Nachrichten reported, quoting an unnamed witness.
The bus driver immediately stopped the vehicle, allowing passengers to escape, the daily said on its website.
“The passengers jumped out of the bus and were screaming. It was terrible. Then the injured were brought out. The perpetrator had a kitchen knife,” a witness living close to the scene told the daily.
A police car which happened to be close by was able to get to the scene quickly, allowing officers to detain the perpetrator, added the report.
Police quoted by national news agency DPA said there were no fatalities, and did not give a motive for the assault.
According to Luebecker Nachrichten, the attacker is an Iranian man in his mid-30s.

* With Reuters and AFP


Taliban talks resume amid hopes of deal

Updated 22 August 2019

Taliban talks resume amid hopes of deal

  • The disclosure came in a context of ongoing bloodshed in Afghanistan after NATO said two US military personnel were killed Wednesday
  • Washington is hoping to strike an agreement with the Taliban by September 1 — ahead of Afghan polls due the same month

DOHA: The US and the Taliban met in Doha on Thursday, an American source close to the talks said, for potentially decisive dialogue to allow Washington to drawdown militarily in Afghanistan.
The source said the talks started around 1300 GMT — the ninth time the two foes have met face-to-face.
The disclosure came in a context of ongoing bloodshed in Afghanistan after NATO said two US military personnel were killed Wednesday, blasts rocked Jalalabad Monday, and the death toll from a weekend wedding bombing reached 80.
Washington’s top commander in Afghanistan General Scott Miller was at the talks venue, according to an AFP correspondent.
The US, which invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban in 2001, wants to withdraw thousands of troops but only in return for the insurgent group renouncing Al-Qaeda and curbing attacks.
Washington is hoping to strike an agreement with the Taliban by September 1 — ahead of Afghan polls due the same month, and US presidential polls due in 2020.
Taliban lead negotiator Abbas Stanikzai told AFP Thursday that overall talks had been “going well.”
The talks are expected to focus on establishing a timeline for the US withdrawal of its more than 13,000 troops in Afghanistan.
“We’ve been there for 18 years, it’s ridiculous,” US President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday.
“We are negotiating with the government and we are negotiating with the Taliban,” he said.
“We have good talks going and we will see what happens.”
But the thorny issues of power-sharing with the Taliban, the role of regional powers including Pakistan and India, and the fate of Afghanistan’s incumbent administration remain unresolved.
US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad sought to bolster optimism for a peace agreement last week when he said in a tweet that he hoped this is the final year that the country is at war.