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Germany

Teenage Knifeman Wounds 28 in Berlin

A 16-year-old youth armed with a knife wounded 28 people in a late-night rampage in downtown Berlin, leaving one victim fighting for life in hospital, police said early Saturday.

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Police are still looking for a motive

The youth sparked panic among the large crowds filing away from a lavish re-opening ceremony for the city's renovated Hauptbahnhof railway station, touted as Europe's largest international rail hub. He was arrested by police who said he was already known to them for other assaults and vandalism.

A total of 24 people were taken to hospital where 15 of them were admitted for treatment, the others able to leave for home later after medical checks.

Police spokesman Bernhard Schodrowski said he could not rule out further people reporting injuries from the attack, which began shortly before midnight when the youth starting randomly slashing passers-by.

"It's total hell here," a police spokesman said shortly afterward.

A short while earlier Chancellor Angela Merkel had officially inaugurated the ultra-modern five-storey Hauptbahnhof, and an estimated half a million people watched a subsequent fireworks and light show.

The railway station was ruined during World War II and then lay on the desolate stretch of land on the West Berlin side of the Cold War wall that divided the city.

Reconstruction began after Germany was reunified, and the station will open for its first international traffic on Sunday.