A man wielding a knife stabbed three people – including a police officer – at a busy railway station in the heart of Manchester in the UK on New Year’s Eve, police said on Monday.
The man and woman, in their 50s, sustained “serious” but non-life-threatening injuries. Police said. The woman had injuries to her face and abdomen and the man had injuries to his abdomen.
Britain’s counter-terrorism officers are leading the investigation into the stabbing incident. The suspect has been arrested.
British Transport Police (BTP) said it is keeping an “open mind” on the motive behind the incident at Manchester Victoria station in the north-west of England.
“Within minutes, a man was arrested near to Metrolink platforms A and B on suspicion of attempted murder. He remains in custody for police questioning,” a BTP statement said.
“The officer injured in a stabbing at Manchester Victoria has been released from hospital. The police sergeant – a man in his 30s – was taken to hospital with a stab wound to his shoulder following the attack at the station,” the BTP said.
It said that officers from Counter Terrorism Policing are leading on the investigation, with support from Greater Manchester Police, British Transport Police and other agencies and that the public will witness heightened police presence in Manchester as a precautionary measure.
“While we don’t yet know the full circumstances and are keeping an open mind, officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North West are leading on the investigation. This is to ensure we have all the expertise available to us and progress our investigation as soon as we possibly can,” Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts from Greater Manchester Police said.
A BBC producer present at the scene heard the knifeman shouting “Allah” during the attack, along with a slogan criticising Western governments.
“I just heard this most blood curdling scream and looked down the platform… and saw he had a kitchen knife with a black handle with a good, 12-inch blade. It was just fear, pure fear,” said Sam Clack, who works for the BBC in Manchester.
Greater Manchester Police declared the attack a “critical incident” but added that there was “no intelligence to suggest that there is any wider threat at this time”. The New Year fireworks display at Albert Square nearby went ahead as scheduled for midnight.