Police are trying to establish the motive behind the murder of an Afghan woman who sought refuge in Germany and has reportedly converted to Christianity. The attacker, also an Afghan asylum seeker, stabbed the woman to death in front of her young children.
The victim was attacked on Saturday in front of a Lidl supermarket in Prien in Bavaria.
The 29-year-old migrant attacked the 38-year-old woman in front of her children, who are 5 and 11. She later died from her wounds.
Witnesses said the attacker stabbed the woman in the head and then slit her throat as she cried for help. Before the assault, the man reportedly shouted something in his mother tongue to the woman.
“I heard angry cries like, ‘He has a knife, he wants to stab her! It was bad. A brave citizen tried to intervene and save the woman, everything was full of blood, it was inconceivably terrible,” one witness reportedly said.
Another witness said the alleged perpetrator sat on a bench across from the supermarket entrance before he attacked.
The suspect was detained after shoppers – including an off-duty police officer – overpowered him. He was placed in a psychiatric hospital for evaluation.
The attack might have been triggered by the fact that the woman had converted to Christianity several years ago, reports RT.
Police are having some difficulty with their investigation, in part due to language barriers. The suspect arrived in Germany a few years ago, a police officer told Focus Online, and it is very likely that the victim and her attacker knew each other:
“We are now knocking the surroundings of the victim and the suspect. Where did they stop, what did they do, which people do they know? Prien is a village, as one can assume that asylum seekers with the same nationality know themselves.”
The police also told Focus Online:
“For us, only facts count. But there is evidence of a religious motive for the deed we are pursuing. Nevertheless, this is only one direction in which we can determine. Whether this was expressed before or during the act was likewise the subject of the investigation.”
According to German news outlet DW,
Police were initially cautious regarding the motive of the crime. The attacker was considered to be “mentally unstable” and is undergoing psychiatric treatment, but the investigators are also considering the woman’s conversion into a different religion as a possible motive. After all, the suspected murderer had been described as “very religious.”
The victim’s funeral was held last Wednesday, and a community pastor told DW that Muslims turned up spontaneously and excused themselves for what had happened. They also expressed hope that the incident would not again lead to a general smear campaign against Muslims.
“The danger however, is that a wedge is being driven between our cultures and religions,” reports DW.
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