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Eight arrests in Salzburg park stabbing

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Eight arrests in Salzburg park stabbing
Lehener Park in Salzburg. Photo: Wikipedia/Eweht
10:57 CEST+02:00
Eight Afghans have been arrested after a 50-year-old Turkish man was stabbed to death in Salzburg's Lehener Park last week. Eight men aged between 15 and 20 were arrested. Police say the 15-year-old is the main suspect, but he denies stabbing the Turkish man.

The background to the murder was a brawl near Salzburg station, when a group of young Afghans beat up a young Turkish man on September 21st. The man's father - the stabbing victim - asked the Afghans to meet him in Lehener Park the next day.

At least ten Afghan men are reported to have turned up, armed with knives and bottles. Four Turkish men and one Austrian-Kosovan who came with the 50-year-old were unarmed, Karl-Heinz Pracher, deputy head of the State Criminal Investigation team said.

The meeting quickly degenerated into a violent fight. The Turks grabbed wooden boards to defend themselves and pursue their opponents. The 50-year-old man was stabbed multiple times and collapsed in the park. His friends drove him to a local hospital, where he died that night.

Eyewitnesses called the police but they arrived too late to arrest anyone at the scene, although they later arrested a 17-year-old Afghan man who they found near the park with a fractured forearm and a knife wound.

Karl-Heinz Pracher said that police had been investigating drug dealers operating in Lehener Park for several weeks. Two of the Afghan suspects had already been in custody on drugs charges.

Two suspects told police that the 15-year-old had inflicted the deadly knife wounds. Police are hoping that forensic evidence will bring clarity to their investigation.

Police have also asked city authorities if the park can be sealed off whilst they continue their investigation, and are looking at ways to improve security and visibility in the park so that walkers will feel safer.

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