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POLICE

Seven injured after train from Italy derails in Switzerland

Swiss police said several people were injured after a train travelling from Milan to Basel derailed in Switzerland on Wednesday afternoon.

Seven injured after train from Italy derails in Switzerland
Police officers and workers inspect the site of the crash. Photo: Michael Buholzer/AFP

In an initial statement, police said that the train had been evacuated and three people had received medical treatment. 

But the Luzerner Zeitung, citing local police officer Kurt Graf, reported that seven people had been “lightly injured” and that four had been hospitalized.

The crash occurred at around 2pm, when the train veered off the tracks close to Lucerne station in central Switzerland.

It's still unclear what caused the derailment, but the train has been identified as a Eurocity 158 train. It had left Milan's station at 10:15am and had been scheduled to arrive in Basel at 2:45pm.

Train traffic through Lucerne station was suspended until at least Wednesday evening as a result of the derailment, and the Swiss national rail company said it was uncertain when service would resume.

 

CRIME

Swiss woman indicted over ‘jihadist knife attack’ in department store

Swiss prosecutors said Wednesday they had indicted a woman for attempted murder on behalf of the Islamic State (IS) group over a brutal knife attack in November 2020.

Swiss woman indicted over 'jihadist knife attack' in department store

The 29-year-old unnamed woman allegedly attacked two women in a department store in the southern city of Lugano.

She has been charged with attempted murder and violating laws against association with Al-Qaeda, IS and related groups, according to the indictment.

She was also charged with unlawful prostitution.

EXPLAINED: Does Switzerland face a threat from terrorism?

The attorney general’s office said the indictment related to a “jihadist knife attack” and the alleged assailant, a Swiss citizen, “intended to kill her victims and to commit a terrorist act on behalf of IS.”

“The suspect acted wilfully and with particular ruthlessness. She brutally attacked her randomly-selected victims with a knife, with the aim of killing them and thereby spreading terror throughout the population on behalf of the ‘Islamic State’,” it said.

One of the two victims sustained serious neck injuries while the second victim, with help from others at the scene, managed to overpower her attacker and hold her until police arrived.

The attacker was arrested and detained. Police quickly discovered she had been linked to a 2017 jihadism investigation.

The woman had formed a relationship on social media with a jihadist fighter in Syria and attempted to travel to the war-torn country to meet him, police alleged at the time.

She was stopped by Turkish authorities at the Syrian border and sent back to Switzerland, they said, adding that the woman had suffered from mental health problems and been admitted to a psychiatric clinic.

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