Twenty-four people have been injured during a panicked stampede after a Somali migrant stormed into a Catholic church in Germany during Easter mass and reportedly shouted “Allahu akbar”.
The incident happened in the Catholic St Paul’s Church on Saturday night in Munich, the capital of the German state of Bavaria, where the city’s Croatian citizens were attending Easter mass.
According to the Munich police, a man suddenly walked into the church and started to shout during the service.
A police spokesman said: “He was shouting incomprehensible words in a gesticulating and noisy way which frightened the mass visitors who were within earshot.”
According to churchgoers quoted in local media, the man shouted “Allahu akbar” (Arabic for “God is the greatest”).
Witnesses said he also threw several stones into the church and dozens of people fled the church in panic in a small stampede after hearing the man speaking Arabic.
According to the police, 24 people were “minimally injured” in the stampede.
Churchgoers managed to restrain the intruder until police officers arrived.
Cops were fast to the scene, shouting “everyone out with their hands up so we can see them” to churchgoers as they cleared the church.
A netizen uploaded pictures of the suspect, writing: “Dark-skinned person (image) storms into the Munich church during mass and destroys part of it (image). The police have jailed him, but I’m reading nothing about it in the press so far, a mentally confused man?”
Initially, police spoke of an “apparently mentally confused man” although this was redacted out of later press releases.
The suspect has been identified as a 36-year-old migrant from Somalia. No weapons or bombs were found in his possession.
The police are currently looking into the incident.
A criminal complaint of GBH and disturbing public peace was filed against him.
During Easter, 290 people died and more than 500 were injured during multiple bombings of Christian churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka.