Two people killed after man stabs passengers on train in Germany

Two people have been killed in a knife attack on a train in Germany, according to media reports.

The suspect, described as a stateless Palestinian man, stabbed several people on board a train travelling from Kiel to Hamburg, German news agency dpa reported.

Officers arrested a suspect shortly after the attack which the Bild newspaper said occurred as the train was arriving at Brokstedt station in northern Germany.

The motive of the attack was not immediately known.

Police spokesman Juergen Henningsen said three people were severely injured and four others suffered minor injuries - but no further details were given about the identity of the victims.

The attacker was also injured and taken to the hospital, with police saying he was between 20 to 30 years old without providing any further information on the suspect.

Interior minister of Schleswig-Holstein state, Sabine Suetterlin-Waack, later said two people had been killed in the attack, which happened at around 3pm local time, dpa reported.

"It is terrible," Ms Suetterlin-Waack told German public broadcaster NDR. "We are shocked and horrified that something like this has happened."

She later told dpa that the suspect was a stateless 33-year-old Palestinian man.

Authorities said they were first alerted to the attack just before 3pm local time when several passengers on the train made emergency calls to police.

The train was stopped and the attacker was arrested outside the train after several witnesses held him until officers arrived to detain him, police said.

Some 120 passengers were on the train at the time of the attack, dpa reported, and around 70 of them were questioned by police in a nearby restaurant after the incident.

Several forensic teams also attended the scene, while investigators in white protective overalls worked near the tracks and the train station.

Brokstedt train station was closed for several hours as regional police and the federal police were on the scene, with NDR reporting the prosecutor's office was investigating the attack.

Police released no further details about the suspect and said his possible motives were under investigation.