A man stabbed several passers-by in the Siberian city of Surgut, Russia, before he was gunned down by the police. Russian officials said it was "unlikely" the rampage was a terror strike, disputing the alleged IS link.
The police were treating the incident as an "attempted murder," officials said on Saturday, adding that seven people were injured during the rampage in Surgut. Four of them remained in serious condition.
The authorities identified the attacker as a Surgut local born in 1994.
The balaclava-wearing assailant apparently used a knife to attack random passers-by in the central area of the Siberian town. Local security forces fired warning shots at the man, before "eliminating" him, according to the police.
'Islamic State' claims attack
Soon after the stabbings, the "Islamic State" (IS) militia claimed responsibility and described the man as a "soldier" of the jihadist group. However, Russian officials stopped short of describing the incident as terrorism and also disputed the jihadists' claim.
"I don't think it's likely," senior Russian lawmaker Franz Klintsevich told radio "Govorit Moskva."
"It's tough to say if it just PR or not. I don't think this has anything to do with the 'Islamic State,'" said Klintsevich, who serves as deputy head of Russia's Defense and Security Committee.
Federal police officials in Moscow pledged to look into "information about possible mental issues" the attacker was reported to have.
The 320,000-strong Surgut is located some 2,100 kilometers (1,300 miles) northeast of Moscow. The Saturday attack comes only a day after a similar stabbing in Finland, which was also claimed by the IS. Earlier this week, attacks in the Spanish region of Catalonia claimed 14 lives.
dj/rc (dpa, AFP, Reuters, Interfax)