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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 24 October, 2018
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Gardaí say Dundalk attack 'random and unprovoked' - terrorism has not yet been ruled out

An 18-year-old Egyptian man has been arrested.

Updated at 5.12pm

DUNDALK ATTACK SCENES II2A1559_90533436 The scene at Avenue Road, Dundalk, Co Louth where a 24-year-old man was stabbed to death this morning. Source: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

GARDAÍ IN DUNDALK have described this morning’s attack in which one man was stabbed to death on a Louth street as ‘random and unprovoked’ – and said that terrorism has not been ruled out as a motive.

A 24-year-old man from Japan died after being stabbed shortly before 9am, while two other men were injured on two other nearby streets.

An 18-year-old man from Egypt has been arrested and is being held at Dundalk Garda station.

A post-mortem is currently being carried out on the body of the Japanese victim at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.

At a press briefing this afternoon, gardaí said a motive for the attack has not yet been established. They confirmed that terrorism is a line of inquiry.

The assailant was carrying a fencing pole when he was apprehended by uniformed gardaí at the scene of the third attack at Seatown. They disarmed and arrested him at the spot. Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan said that one weapon has been recovered but there is a possibility that the assailant was also carrying two knives.

“We want to know why he was in Dundalk,” Mangan said. ”We are very interested to know who he was staying with, who he knows and what he was doing here.”

The assailant is believed to have been applying for asylum in Ireland. Gardaí became aware of his status in the country on 1 January but said there was no reason to believe he was dangerous.

The 24-year-old man who died was found in an unresponsive state on Avenue Road in Dundalk shortly before 9am, having suffered a stab wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gardai arrived at Avenue Road within seven minutes of receiving the 999 call alerting them to the attack.

The other victims, both Irish, were attacked shortly afterwards at two other nearby locations – Inner Relief Road and Seatown – and by 9.45am, gardai had arrested the suspect  at Seatown.

Gardaí have sealed off the three separate crime scenes at Avenue Road, Inner Relief Road and Seatown.

dundalk map The locations of the three crime scenes Source: Google Maps

Garda sniffer dogs were deployed to the scene at Avenue Road earlier this afternoon.

The body has now been removed from the scene and forensic tests are continuing.

Officers are carrying out door-to-door inquiries in the streets around the area.

One eyewitness who saw the response to the attack told RTÉ’s Liveline that there was a lot of garda activity in the area.

“As we were at the junction waiting to go right, we saw a garda car going very fast along the relief road, coming from the left. Basically, I pulled out and a garda car was stopped and there seemed to be a grey car stopped on front of it and another garda car sort of corralling this car in,” eyewitness Peter Hughes said.

“And there was a woman, a blonde woman, maybe 40-odd just running away from the scene and we were just looking at her wondering what she was doing.”

“There was a lot of guards coming out and they sort of ran out to the hedge and they seemed to be sort of trying to jump on someone over there.”

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to contact Dundalk Garda station on 042 938 8400, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.

They are particularly interested in anyone who was in the Avenue Road area shortly before 9am, or on Coes Road or Seatown Place or the Inner Relief Road between 8.30am and 9.40am.

- Reporting from Garreth MacNamee in Dundalk, Rónán Duffy, Hayley Halpin, Christine Bohan and Susan Daly

Read: Galway deals with the aftermath after ‘unprecedented’ floods hit the city

More: Thomas Monson, head of the Mormon church, dies aged 90

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