World

German police shoot man with axe in city hosting Euro 2024 match

The incident occurred in an area of Hamburg reportedly thronged with thousands of fans ahead of Sunday’s match between the Netherlands and Poland.

Officers cordoned off an area near the Reeperbahn in Hamburg following the incident (Steven Hutchings/dpa/AP)
Officers cordoned off an area near the Reeperbahn in Hamburg following the incident (Steven Hutchings/dpa/AP) (Steven Hutchings/AP)

German police have said they shot and wounded a man who was threatening them with an axe and a firebomb in the northern city of Hamburg, hours before it hosted a match in the Euro 2024 football tournament.

Officers opened fire after the man refused to put down the axe and Molotov cocktail, hitting him in the leg, German news agency dpa reported, citing Hamburg police.

German media published images of a person lying in the street surrounded by paramedics and police officers.

The incident happened in the central St Pauli area of the northern port city, which was thronged with fans ahead of Sunday’s match between the Netherlands and Poland.

A police spokesman said there was no initial indication that the incident was related to the football game.

The man was admitted to hospital with his injuries, the spokesman said. No one else was hurt.

German authorities have put police on high alert during the tournament, which began on Friday and runs until July 14, for fear of possible fan violence and terrorist attacks.

On Friday, police shot an Afghan man dead after he fatally attacked a compatriot and later injured three people watching the televised game between Germany and Scotland in a town in eastern Germany.

Police said on Sunday that the motive for that attack is still unclear.