New Zealand: 4 injured in axe attacks on Chinese restaurants

A man wielding an axe attacked three neighboring Chinese restaurants in Auckland. Police did not give a motive for the attack, but said the man was arrested

Representative image (photo: DW)
Representative image (photo: DW)
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DW

A man armed with an axe raided three neighbouring Chinese restaurants in New Zealand's biggest city of Auckland, injuring four individuals before he was arrested by police.

The 24-year-old was taken into custody and charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The defendant, a Chinese national, faced the court in the early hours of Tuesday. He was helped by a Chinese language interpreter and he was not required to enter a plea.

What did the police say?

The police said further charges were expected, but did not give a motive for the attack. Waitemata East Area commander Stefan Sagar said there was no evidence it was a racially motivated attack.

The man is believed to have acted alone.

Meanwhile, police increased their presence in the area surrounding the attacked restaurants.

"We acknowledge how frightening this incident was for those involved, and for the wider community, and we are ensuring there is support in place for both the victims and their friends and family," Sagar said in a statement.

What do we know about the attack?

The perpetrator walked into three different restaurants on a street that hosts a range of low-cost Chinese dining establishments, local media reported.

One diner told the New Zealand Herald how his friend was attacked as they were sharing a meal in one of the restaurants.

"I was in shock. When I realized what was happening, he tried to target me," the man said. The witness added that he blocked the axe with his hand, when he realized the assailant was also targeting his own head.

The diner said the axe wielder chased customers out of the restaurant, before walking into another restaurant.

Another witness told Radio New Zealand she was eating at one restaurant with a friend when the perpetrator started attacking her friend.

Three of the victims remain hospitalized in stable condition, while the fourth victim has been discharged.

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