09242017Headline:

8 injured in stabbing attack at Minnesota mall

Eight people have been injured in Minnesota after a man "making references to Allah" went on a stabbing spree inside the Crossroads Center shopping mall in St. Cloud, police say. It is unclear if the attack is linked to terrorism.

The incident began at around 8:15 p.m. on Saturday when police began receiving reports of both stabbings and shots being fired inside the Crossroads Center shopping mall. When officers arrived, they located multiple victims with stab wounds.

The suspect - whose identity has not yet been released - was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer who was at the mall, said St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson. He said eight people were injured and taken to hospital, but only one person remained in hospital on early Sunday morning.

It was not immediately clear whether the stabbings were linked to terrorism. "The individual made some references to Allah and we have confirmed that he asked at least one person if they were Muslim before he assaulted them," Chief Anderson said.

The stabbings and the sounds of gunfire prompted people at the mall to flee, with some of them screaming as they ran for safety, witnesses said. The Crossroads Center shopping mall, which is one of the largest malls in Minnesota, remained on lockdown for hours as police secured the area.

The suspect is believed to have acted alone, Anderson said.

The stabbings follow incidents in New Jersey and New York earlier in the day, though there was no immediate indication that either of the incidents are linked. A failed bombing happened at a Marine Corps charity run in Seaside Park in New Jersey, and a device exploded hours later in Manhattan, injuring 29.

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