Germany Reutlingen attack
Police stand outside where a 21-year-old Syrian refugee killed a woman with a machete and injured two other people in the city of ReutlingenVincent Kessler/Reuters

A machete-wielding Syrian asylum-seeker has killed one woman and injured two others in the German city of Reutlingen, near Stuttgart. The assailant was taken into custody just minutes after the frenzied attack outside a kebab shop on Sunday (24 July) "because of the quick response of the police," Reutlingen police said in a statement. Reports suggest the woman was pregnant when she was hacked to death.

The pair both worked at the fast food restaurant and were arguing before the fatal assault took place. According to reports, the attacker was in love with the woman.

An eyewitness told tabloid newspaper Bild the attacker was extremely agitated. "The perpetrator was completely out of his mind" the witness said. "He ran with his machete even behind a patrol car.

"A BMW driver then hit the gas and ran over him. Then he lay prostrate on the ground and did not move."

According to early reports, the 21-year-old perpetrator was known to police. A police spokesman said the attacker had been involved in causing injuries to other people in the past, but gave no further details. Authorities said there are no signs that this was a terrorist attack.

"According to what is currently known, this was a lone attacker," Reutlingen police added in the statement. "It is highly unlikely that there is any danger to the public in and around Reutlingen." The police have not released the attacker's name and the motive is not yet clear. The injuries of the two people who were wounded are not understood to be life-threatening.

The killing comes while Germany is still on edge after a shooting rampage in Munich that killed nine people, and an axe attack on a train a week ago that left five injured.