Church Horror as Swordsman Runs Amok | Current Affairs | DW | 04.04.2005
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Current Affairs

Church Horror as Swordsman Runs Amok

The peace and tranquility of a regular Sunday church service in southern Germany was shattered when a man armed with a samurai sword and pistol ran amok, killing one person and severely wounding others.


Police overpowered the armed assailant after storming the church

A man wielding a samurai sword killed a 43-year-old woman and seriously wounded three other people during a service in a Protestant church in this southern German city Sunday, authorities said.

The 25-year-old assailant was likely an ethnic Tamil, as were most of the 70 members of the congregation, police said, adding that they suspected a personal and not a political motive.

"There are cut-off limbs lying around the church," a police spokeswoman said, adding that a man and woman among the injured were fighting for their lives.

A scene of horror

Officers "were greeted by a scene of horror" after responding to an emergency call around 15:48 CET, the spokeswoman said.

The attacker wounded one man in the neck, sliced off the hand of another and dealt a possibly fatal blow to a woman's chest. All the victims were Tamils.

The parishioners, nearly half of whom were children, shielded themselves with chairs as the man ran amok. Many were able to escape the church, running screaming into the streets, while police overpowered the assailant, who also had a pistol, using a tear gas bomb.

Witnesses given counseling

Sixty-five people who witnessed the bloodbath were given psychological counseling, the German NTV news channel reported.

A German church was last the scene of a bloodbath on Christmas Eve 1996 when a deranged German man aiming to commit suicide set off two grenades in a Protestant house of worship, killing two women as well as himself and wounding 13 parishioners.

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  • Date 04.04.2005
  • Author DW staff / AFP (nda)
  • Related Subjects Germany
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  • Date 04.04.2005
  • Author DW staff / AFP (nda)
  • Related Subjects Germany
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink