An Iraqi man who spent time in jail for membership in an Islamist terrorist group was shot dead by German police Thursday after he stabbed and seriously wounded a policewoman.
The 41-year-old man had been convicted in 2008 of planning an attack in Berlin against former Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi, a prosecution spokesman told AFP.
Thursday’s incident began around 0700 GMT, when four police cars were called to the western Berlin district of Spandau because the man was reported acting aggressively and threatening passers-by, police said.
When a policewoman approached him, he stabbed her with a knife with a nine-centimetre (3.5 inch) blade in the neck area, before one of her colleagues opened fire, killing the Iraqi man and “suspected Islamist”, prosecutors said.
The 44-year-old woman was also hit accidentally by one of the bullets fired by her police colleague, said the prosecution service.
The Iraqi man had in the morning removed an electronic ankle monitor he had been ordered to wear after being released from prison.
National news agency DPA quoted chief prosecutor Dirk Feuerberg as saying it was too early to speculate about a “terrorist motive”, and that the man’s apartment was being searched.
Berlin police said on Twitter about the policewoman, who had been taken to hospital by helicopter, that “the condition of our colleague is stable, she remains in intensive care”.
The attacker died in an ambulance shortly after being shot, despite attempts to revive him.