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Police: Refugee kills German psychologist

June 7, 2017

A Syrian man has stabbed and killed a Red Cross mental health counselor in the southwest German city of Saarbrücken, police said. The attacker and the psychologist allegedly got into an argument during a therapy session.

Deutschland 27-jähriger Syrer ersticht Berater
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/O. Dietze

German authorities tracked down the suspect soon after the Wednesday attack, finding him only few hundred meters away from the scene of the crime in Saarbrücken. The man was immediately hospitalized for serious injuries, which appeared to be self-inflicted.

The police believe that the 27-year-old Syrian killed a 30-year-old man working as a therapist in a counseling center for traumatized refugees. The migrant allegedly got into an altercation with the Red Cross psychologist during a therapy session, and stabbed him. The victim died at the scene. While the reason for the attack was not immediately clear, officials do not believe that the incident was linked with terrorism.

German Red Cross 'shocked'

"We are all appalled and shocked," German Red Cross chief Rudolf Seiters said, adding that all German Red Cross associates were "mourning a commendable employee."

Deutschland 27-jähriger Syrer ersticht Berater
Saarbrücken is the capital of Germany's smallest state, SaarlandImage: picture-alliance/dpa/O. Dietze

Police also found a knife at the scene, but did not immediately confirm that it was the murder weapon.

The victim has worked for the Red Cross since 2014. The counseling center in Saarbrücken, near the French border, specializes in treating refugees suffering from post-traumatic stress or newcomers having trouble adaptating to a new culture.

The attack appears reminiscent of a fatal stabbing in Sweden last year, when a 22-year-old female social worker was killed by a young migrant.

dj/msh (AFP, epd, AP, dpa)