Assailant wounds 3 in stabbing in busy Hague shopping area

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — An assailant stabbed three people Friday night in a busy shopping district in the Netherlands, and police were searching for the suspect, authorities said.

The attack came just hours after a man wearing a fake explosive vest stabbed several people in London, killing two, before he was tackled by members of the public and then fatally shot by officers. Police treated it as a terrorist attack.

A Dutch police spokeswoman said it was too early to establish a motive for the attack in The Hague.

The victims, all minors, were released from the hospital late Friday. It was unclear whether they might have been hurt when the crowds of holiday shoppers panicked. Video from the scene showed people running away and shrieking. Calm returned soon after police arrived.

The stabbing happened about 7:45 p.m., when a man attacked several people on the street. Investigators were “keeping every scenario open,” police spokeswoman Marije Kuiper said.

The stabbing happened in an area teeming with shoppers. Supermarket chains and luxury shops were lit up with early Christmas decorations.

Police sealed off a wide perimeter behind which onlookers were kept at bay.

The Netherlands was shocked by a similar stabbing in Amsterdam a year ago, when two Americans were wounded in a knife attack that prosecutors say had a “terrorist motive.”

___

Associated Press Writer Raf Casert in Brussels contributed to this report.

Mike Corder, The Associated Press

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