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Victims in Amsterdam stabbing are Americans: US ambassador

Dutch police officers point their guns at a wounded 19-year-old man who was shot by police after stabbing two people in the central railway station in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on Aug 31, 2018. Police investigators in Amsterdam included an extremist attack as a possible motive for the stabbings of two people at a busy railway station Friday as authorities in the Dutch capital reported that the suspect shot by police is an Afghan citizen. (AP)

Amsterdam, 1 Sep: Two people wounded in a knife attack at the Dutch capital’s busy main railway station on Friday are both American citizens who were visiting The Netherlands, the US ambassador said Saturday as police investigated possible motives, including the possibility it was an extremist act.

Police shot and wounded a 19-year-old Afghan man immediately after the attack and are questioning him as a suspect. A dramatic photo captured by a passerby shows two police officers pointing their pistols at a man wearing jeans and sneakers lying on the ground inside a tunnel in the station. Ambassador Pete Hoekstra issued a written statement saying embassy officials had been in touch with the victims or their families.

Police say they have serious but not life-threatening injuries. Authorities did not disclose the identities of the victims. “We wish them a speedy recovery and are working closely with the City of Amsterdam to provide assistance to them and their families,” Hoekstra said. Police say they are still trying to establish a reason for the attack, including whether it was motivated by extremism. A statement issued late Friday by Amsterdam’s city council said that the Americans did not appear to have been victims of a targeted attack.

Initial police inquiries did not indicate that the victims were chosen deliberately or with a clear reason, Amsterdam authorities said. “The investigation is still underway, and all scenarios remain open for the investigation team,” the City Hall statement said. (AP

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