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Islamic State claims responsibility for Minnesota mall attack, FBI investigates attack

The suspect acted alone and the motive of the crime remained undetermined, chief Anderson said. (Representative image) Photograph: (AFP)

WION Minnesota, United States Sep 18, 2016, 08.12 AM (IST)
An Islamic State group "soldier" carried out the wave of stabbings at a mall in the central Minnesota that would eight people, the militant group's news agency claimed. 

"The executor of the stabbing attacks in Minnesota yesterday (Saturday) was a soldier of the Islamic State who carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of countries belonging to the crusader coalition," Amaq news agency said.

The man, who was wearing a private security uniform was shot dead by an off-duty police officer.  

FBI agent Rick Thornton said the stabbing spree is being investigated as a "potential act of terrorism."

The FBI agent in charge of the investigation said that there was still "a lot we don't know" about any possible international link to the assailant."

City's police chief William Blair Anderson told reporters that the attacker also made references to Allah and asked at least one person if they were Muslim before he assaulted them at the Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud.

"We'll figure out what this is and when we do we will be transparent about it,” he added. He gave no details of the identities of the victims.

Chris Nelson, a communications specialist at St. Cloud Hospital where the victims were admitted, said none of the victims received life-threatening injuries.

The mall was under lockdown and witnesses were being interviewed by police. 

The suspect acted alone and the motive of the crime remained undetermined, chief Anderson said.  

Sydney Weires, a student at St. Benedict Colleg, who was shopping when the incident took place, told the St.Cloud Times she saw a man with blood running down his face and another's shirt stained with blood. 

The chief did not release the name of the officer who shot the suspect but said he was from a jurisdiction outside the town. 

(WION with inputs from agencies)
 
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