Islamic State claims murder of teenager in Hamburg

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The Islamic State group (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for a knife attack on a young couple in the German city of Hamburg. The suspect in the deadly attack remains at large and his identity is unknown.

The incident, which had previously received only local news coverage, happened at about 10 p.m. on October 16 when a 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl were sitting underneath the Kennedybrücke (Kennedy Bridge) in downtown Hamburg.

According to police, a man approached the couple from behind and suddenly stabbed the boy several times. The attacker then pushed the girl into the water of the Außenalster (Outer Alster Lake) before running away from the scene.

The girl was able to get out of the water by herself and was treated by paramedics, but her boyfriend suffered life-threatening injuries and died a short time after being taken to an area hospital. The girl is receiving victim support.

On Saturday, the ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq claimed responsibility for the murder. “A soldier of the Islamic State stabbed 2 individuals in Hamburg on the 16th of this month. He carried out the operation in response to calls to target the citizens of coalition countries,” Amaq said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Hamburg Police did not immediately return a request for comment, but an earlier appeal for witnesses said investigators were looking for a man of “southern” appearance, estimated to be about 23 to 25 years old and standing about 1.80 to 1.90 meters tall. He had a stubble and short, dark hair.

Germany has seen a number of violent incidents this year, some of which were linked to Islamic terrorism, but police in Hamburg had previously made no mention of a possible link to terrorism in the case of the stabbing, saying only that the motive was unknown.

In July, the country was shaken by series of violent incidents. The first one happened on July 18 when a 17-year-old refugee who had pledged allegiance to ISIS attacked people with an axe inside a passenger train near Würzburg, injuring 5 people. He was later shot dead by police.

Days later, a man opened fire at a shopping mall in the German city of Munich, killing 9 people of immigrant backgrounds and injuring dozens more. The attacker, who killed himself when approached by police, was not linked to Islamic terrorism. His exact motive is still unclear.

Two days after the shooting in Munich, a Syrian refugee acting on behalf of the Islamic State group blew himself up outside a cafe near a music festival in Ansbach, injuring 12 people. Police later found a video in which the man pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

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