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Police Suspect Double Stabbing In Amsterdam Station Was Terror Attack

Dutch police officers stand at the scene of a stabbing attack near Amsterdam's Central Station on August 31.

Dutch police on September 1 said they were investigating a double stabbing at Amsterdam's crowded Central Station as a suspected terror attack.

The assailant, who stabbed two people before being shot by police, was identified as a 19-year-old Afghan man with a German residency permit.

Witnesses described scenes of panic shortly after midday as gunshots rang out and thousands of commuters and tourists were evacuated from the rail terminal, which hosts about 250,000 travelers a day.

Police spokesman Rob van der Veen said the two people who were stabbed were "very badly injured, and they were brought to the hospital."

"We are looking at all scenarios, also the worst scenario, which is terrorism," he said.

The Netherlands has so far been spared from a series of terror attacks which have hit neighboring countries France, Belgium, and England in recent years.

Dutch police declined to speculate on the reasons for the stabbings, but the Afghan Taliban on August 30 called for attacks on Dutch troops because of plans by a Dutch far-right politician to stage a Prophet Muhammad cartoon competition -- an event which was cancelled hours after the Taliban announcement.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP