Dutch police were hunting an assailant who stabbed three minors in The Hague’s main shopping street as people looked for bargains on Black Friday.
The male attacker ran off after the incident at a department store in the city center that caused scenes of panic among the crowds of shoppers.
“We are currently taking all scenarios into account,” a police spokeswoman said about the attack, which came hours after two people died in a terror-related stabbing in London.
All three victims were minors, police said, without giving their ages. They were all later allowed to go home from hospital.
The stabbing occurred at the Hudson’s Bay department store in Grote Marktstraat, the city’s biggest shopping area, which is lined with major retailers and brands.
Two teenage girls came running into the store after being stabbed, witnesses said.
“I saw two girls screaming and running away. A man fled. He jumped very athletically over benches to get away. He looked like a cheetah,” one witness said.
“People were trying to get away, but that didn’t work. I was shocked,” the witness added.
Police initially gave a description of a man they were looking for, aged between 40 and 50, but later withdrew it, saying they were still investigating.
“We are still looking for the perpetrator,” they said, adding that they were conducting “extensive investigations.”
Police helicopters flew overhead and several emergency vehicles were on site, a reporter said.
The stabbing took place not far from parliament, which is the seat of government for the Netherlands and home to many international organizations.
The US embassy warned its nationals in The Hague to avoid the area because of “reports of a security incident” and told them to let loved ones know they were safe.
In Britain, two people were killed in a stabbing on London Bridge in the heart of the capital. The suspected attacker was then tackled by passersby and shot dead by police.
The Netherlands has seen a series of terror attacks and plots, although not so far on the scale of those in other European countries.
In March, four people were killed when a Turkish-born man opened fire on a tram in the city of Utrecht.
Dutch police on Monday arrested two suspected jihadists, one of them in The Hague, and charged them with planning a terror attack using suicide and car bombs.
Earlier this month, a Pakistani man was sentenced to 10 years in jail for a plot to kill far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
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