South Korea stabbing, car rampage injures at least 14 near Seoul


SEOUL — South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol called a violent Thursday night rampage at a shopping mall outside Seoul a “terror attack on innocent citizens.”

At least 14 people were injured when a man rammed a car into pedestrians before stabbing several people at the shopping mall on Thursday night. Three of the victims were in critical condition as of early Friday local time, police said.

Police arrested a 23-year-old suspect at the scene and were interrogating the man.

Five people were hit by the vehicle, and nine others were stabbed, according to a police official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive investigation.

Yoon told officials to “fully mobilize the police force” for “a firm response” to the incident, his press secretary Kim Eun-hye said on Friday.

Police Commissioner Gen. Yoon Hee-keun said on Thursday that authorities were treating the incident as an indiscriminate attack, the Yonhap news agency reported. “Unlike traditional crimes driven by personal resentment,” he said, the apparent attack was “in effect, an act of terrorism in that anyone can become a victim.”

The suspect is a high school dropout who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, according to a spokesman for the police in Seongnam’s Bundang district. The suspect had no notable criminal record, the spokesman said, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to department rules. The police are questioning the suspect about his motive for the attack.

Officers cordoned off streets around the scene, and the police commissioner called an emergency meeting of city police chiefs after the attack, which unfolded near Seohyeon subway station and a large department store.

Following Thursday’s stabbing attack, online posts threatening copycat crimes in South Korea circulated on social media. The country’s police authorities said they are investigating such threats.

Stabbings and car rampages are uncommon in South Korea but not unprecedented. Last month, a rare stabbing attack killed one person and injured three others in Seoul.

Jintak Han contributed to this report.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *