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Police say officers shot man with axe, firebomb before Euro 2024 match

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BERLIN (AP) — German police said Sunday they shot and wounded a man who was threatening them with an axe and a firebomb in the northern city of Hamburg, hours before it hosted a match in the Euro 2024 soccer tournament.

Police officers opened fire after the man refused to lay down the ax, hitting him in the leg, German news agency dpa reported, citing Hamburg police. German media published images of a person lying in the street surrounded by paramedics and police officers.

The incident occurred in the downtown St. Pauli area of the northern port city, which was thronged with fans ahead of Sunday’s soccer match between the Netherlands and Poland.

The police spokesman said there was no initial indication that the incident was related to the soccer game.

German authorities have put police on high alert during the tournament, which began on Friday and runs through July 14, for fear of possible fan violence and terrorist attacks.

On Friday, police shot to death an Afghan man after he fatally attacked a compatriot and later wounded three people watching the televised game between Germany and Scotland in a town in eastern Germany. Police said Sunday that the motive for that attack was still unclear.

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