A 17-year-old man has been detained after a chainsaw and ax attack in a shopping center “Europe” in the Belarusian capital on Sunday. One woman was left dead and another injured in the attack.
“The suspect is a citizen of Belarus, born in 1998 and currently living in Minsk,” police chief Alexander Barsukov said. “He is now being interrogated at a police station in the capital.”
Initially the witnesses told journalists that there were two attackers.
The suspect reportedly entered the shopping center through a back door at 17.27. He was carrying a guitar case where the chainsaw was hidden.
He first attacked a woman outside with a chainsaw, and then another girl with an ax. To some witnesses, it appeared that the victim of the chainsaw attack may have been decapitated, but police denied that.
At 17.34 police was called out and arrived at the scene a few minutes later. The attacker was detained at about 17.38 by visitors of the shopping centre and police officers.
The woman who died in the attack was 43 years old and reportedly worked at the mall.
The woman who was wounded is 46. The attacker struck her two blows with an ax. The victim was delivered in one of hospitals in Minsk, doctors described her condition as moderate.
So far, no motive for the attack has been established. Terrorist attacks and indiscriminate killings are relatively rare in Belarus, although a bombing on the Minsk Metro in April 2011 claimed 15 lives.