LONDON (AP) — A Japanese man was stabbed to death and two others were injured in separate attacks on the streets of Ireland Wednesday, and police investigating the incidents said terrorism is one line of inquiry.
Police said an 18-year-old Egyptian national has been arrested and detained at the Dundalk Police Station in the Republic of Ireland just south of the border with Northern Ireland.
The suspect has not been identified or charged. Police believe he had been seeking asylum in the Republic of Ireland in recent days.
Police did not release the name of the stabbing victim, but said he is a 24-year-old Japanese man who had been living in Ireland for the past year.
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An autopsy is underway, police said.
The victim was attacked on the street and stabbed in the back Wednesday morning in Dundalk. He died at the scene. Media reports say the other injuries took place in other parts of Dundalk, with one person being stabbed and another attacked with an iron post.
Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan said police received emergency calls from three separate locations in the Dundalk area and were able to quickly apprehend the suspect, who was carrying a large fence post when taken into custody.
He added that the first attack was reported at about 9 a.m. local time, and the attacks were spread out over 40 minutes.
He said no motive has been established and that terrorism is being seen as one possibility.
“We will endeavor to establish the suspect’s background, who they are and where they have come from and why are they here,” Mangan said at a hastily organized press briefing in Dundalk.
Police indicated the stabbing victim was chosen at random and Mangan said it was not clear why an “innocent bystander” would be attacked.
Mangan said the suspect had been in contact with police two days earlier when questions were asked about his immigration status.