Several wounded after attack on Ohio State University campus | News | DW | 28.11.2016
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Several wounded after attack on Ohio State University campus

Law enforcement has scrambled to the midwestern US university amid reports of an attack on the campus, with nine injured. Police have shot and killed an 18-year-old suspect who was of Somali descent.

Police isolated and contained the campus at Ohio State University (OSU) on Monday, responding to reports of an attack on the campus in the state capital, Columbus.

According to university Police Chief Craig Stone, nine people were hospitalized with injuries but none of them are life-threatening. A university spokesperson said that those injured in the attack sustained stab wounds and some had been hit by a vehicle.

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Ohio: 9 injured after campus attack

Stone said a male suspect "purposefully" drove a car onto a curb near a university building, hitting pedestrians. The attacker then exited the vehicle and used a "butcher knife" to attack students nearby.

An OSU officer on the scene engaged the suspect, eventually shooting and killing him. Authorities said the investigation is ongoing, but they do not believe the suspect had a gun. The university initially warned students of an active shooter situation on campus.

The attacker was identified as Abdul Rayak Ali Artan, an 18-year-old who was born in Somalia, a US official said on condition of anonymity. Another law enforcement source said he was a student at the university and a legal permanent US resident.

Around 11:30 a.m. local time (1630 UTC), the university's emergency management service lifted the "shelter in place" order.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m. local time (1430 UTC), firefighters responded to a call at Watts Hall - a materials science and engineering building on the university's main campus - where the suspect drove his car onto the sidewalk.

Students subsequently received the standard SMS or text message alert, advising them either to run, hide or fight - with the options listed in order of preference.

The advice means that students should either flee, seek shelter, or take action to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter as a last resort.

Ohio Governor and former Republican presidential candidate John Kasich advised Columbus students and residents to "be safe, listen to first responders" in a Tweet.

Many university students barricaded themselves in their classrooms, blocking the doors with chairs and desks.

With over 60,000 students at its main campus in Columbus, Ohio State University is one of the nation's largest universities. The attack occured as students resumed classes following a break for the Thanksgiving holiday.

rs/msh (AP, AFP, dpa)

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