A Japanese man has died and two young Irish men are injured after an 18-year-old man carried out a string of stabbings in the Co. Louth town of Dundalk on Wednesday morning.
Gardaí (Irish police) are investigating the possibility that a string of attacks in Dundalk, Co Louth, on Wednesday are related to terrorism, the Irish Times reports.
An 18-year-old Egyptian man was taken into custody on Wednesday morning after fatally stabbing a 24-year-old Japanese man who was living in Dundalk.
Two other young Irish men were injured in the series of attacks in the town close to the Republic of Ireland border with Northern Ireland. The suspect is believed to have traveled to Ireland from the UK in recent days and the Gardaí wish to stress that they are still attempting to establish a motive. He has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Gardaí say they have not established a motive for this morning's fatal stabbing attack in Dundalk, Co Louth— RTÉ News (@rtenews) January 3, 2018
“A terror attack is certainly a line of inquiry we are looking at. We will endeavor to establish the suspect's background, including who they are, where they have come from and why are they here. Those are very, very important questions we're trying to ask and answer,” said Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan.
The victim died instantly from stab wounds to the back shortly after 9am on Wednesday morning. The other two men were attacked in different parts of the town; one suffering from a stab wound, the other being hit with a fence post. Neither injury is expected to be life-threatening.
All attacks happened within an hour-long time frame and Gardaí are currently investigating five locations within Dundalk. None of the men attacked are believed to have been connected to each other.
An 18-year-old man from Egypt has been arrested following a series of attacks in Dundalk, Co Louth which left a man dead. https://t.co/rIdpfdiYc9— The Irish Times (@IrishTimes) January 3, 2018
It is reported that the suspect was previously in contact with authorities on January 1 questioning his status in the country and how he might apply for asylum. He was advised to travel to Dublin but it is unknown whether he traveled to the capital or not.
“We are very interested to know exactly how this suspect came into the jurisdiction, how long they were here and who they were associating with. We certainly are appealing to people who knew the suspect from the time he was in the jurisdiction,” Chief Superintendent Mangan continued.
The 24-year-old Japanese man was the first to be attacked. The incident happened on Avenue Road around 9am and the young man died at the scene. Gardaí arrived at the scene after seven minutes, receiving a call that a man had been found unresponsive. It is believed he was on his way to work when he was attacked.
Another call was received by the Gardaí at 9.32am from Coes Road and another eight minutes later at Seatown Place. A short time later, Gardaí spotted a man carrying a crow bar and he was disarmed and arrested. It is alleged the suspect was also carrying two knives.
No further information has been released about the man in custody. but he is understood to be in an agitated state and has received medical attention. Gardaí are working with authorities in Egypt and in the UK. The suspect can be held for up to 24 hours before being charged or released.
Investigating Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to contact Dundalk Garda Station on 042 9388400, the Garda Confidential Line 1 800 666 111 or any Garda Station.