Vienna knife attacks: Police know 'absolutely nothing' after four wounded in two separate assaults

'He could have stabbed me as well had I been there by chance. He had lost all control'

Tom Embury-Dennis
Thursday 08 March 2018 10:47
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Police search the area at the Praterstrasse in Vienna
Police search the area at the Praterstrasse in Vienna

Four people are seriously wounded following two knife attacks in Vienna, but Austrian police remain baffled to any motive or connection between the assaults.

The stabbings – the first of which took place at 7.45pm on Wednesday evening - occurred in the capital’s Second District, which includes the famous Prater park.

"A man attacked a family - a father, a mother and their 17-year-old daughter - with a knife,” a police spokesperson said. “The three people were seriously injured and their lives are in danger."

The family, who were Austrian citizens, were ambushed outside a Japanese restaurant on the popular shopping street of Praterstrasse, near a subway stop in the capital, authorities said.

"And half an hour later, there was another attack... at Praterstern and here a person was also seriously injured and their life is in danger," the spokesperson added.

"We do not know to what extent there is a connection here and any motive remains unclear."

Asked what was known about an assailant, he said: "Absolutely nothing. We know we are looking for a man."

Sylvie Franke, an eyewitness, told Euronews: "I'm convinced he is psychotic. He could have stabbed me as well had I been there by chance. He had lost all control."

A male citizen from Afghanistan was later arrested in connection with the second assault, but no further details were immediately available and any connection between the stabbings remained unclear, the spokesperson said.

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