German police kill man who approached with knife, reportedly shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’

BERLIN — Police in western Germany shot and killed a 37-year-old man who allegedly tried to attack them with a knife. They are checking whether extremism was a possible motive for the attack, the German news agency dpa reported Monday.

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Police officers investigate inside a cordoned-off area in front of a police station in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, late Sunday, Jan. 5, 20120. (Stephan Witte/dpa via AP)

Police officers investigate inside a cordoned-off area in front of a police station in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, late Sunday, Jan. 5, 20120. (Stephan Witte/dpa via AP)

The man, whose name was not given, first used an unidentified object to attack a police car in front of a precinct in Gelsenkirchen Sunday night, and then approached officers with the item in his hand, police spokesman Christopher Grauwinkel said.

As the man came toward the officers, they saw that he had a knife in his other hand and did not stop despite several orders to do so. A 27-year-old police officer then fatally shot him, dpa said.

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Local media reported that the man shouted "Allahu Akbar," or "God is great" in Arabic, as he moved toward police. Dpa said the attacker was a Turkish citizen and that it is not known if he also had a German passport.