An Afghan refugee has stabbed two Portuguese women to death and injured several others at an Ismaili Muslim center in Lisbon, the Portugal capital.
The Ismaili community leader, Narzim Ahmad, revealed that the women were Portuguese staff members at the center.
According to ABC News, the Portuguese authorities have commenced an investigation into Tuesday’s stabbing attack as a possible terror act.
Local Afghan community representatives and Portuguese authorities described the man as a refugee from Afghanistan who was receiving help from the Ismaili Community.
The police, in a statement, said officers dispatched to the center on Tuesday morning encountered a man armed with a knife.
The officers ordered him to surrender and he was shot when he advanced toward them.
The suspect is in police custody at a Lisbon hospital as investigators intensified efforts to see if it was an act of terrorism.
The Portuguese Interior Minister José Luis Carneiro said the suspect is a “young man” who arrived in Portugal through a European Union program that transfers asylum-seekers to member countries to help relieve pressure on Mediterranean nations such as Greece and Italy,
Carnieiro said the man’s wife died in a refugee camp in Greece, leaving him to care alone for three children, ages 9, 7 and 4. Authorities had no information indicating he had been violent in the past.
“From what we know, he was a calm person who had received help from the Ismaili community in terms of knowledge of languages, knowledge, food care, care for younger children,” he said.
Omer Taeri, president of the Association of the Afghan Community in Portugal, told CNN Portugal the suspect arrived in the country last year.
He said the alleged attacker suffered from “psychological trauma” after the death of his wife and was worried about his children.
Taeri asked for people to not “judge an entire community by one incident.”
Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa said police shot the suspect and told reporters the attack was “a criminal act.”
“Everything points to this being an isolated incident,” Costa said, without elaborating.
Armed police from a special operations unit could formed a perimeter outside the building following the incident.
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