Three youths wounded in stabbing in The Hague

Police said in a tweet that the incident happened on the city's main shopping street.

    Three youths wounded in stabbing in The Hague
    Police officers near the site of the stabbing on a shopping street in The Hague [Piroschka van de Wouw/Reuters]

    Police in the Netherlands have launched a manhunt for an attacker who stabbed three minors in The Hague.

    The incident on Friday happened in the heart of The Hague shopping district, causing scenes of panic among shoppers.

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    All three victims were minors, according to police, which did not give their ages. They were all later released from hospital and allowed to go home.

    Police initially said they were looking for a man, about 45 to 50 years old, in a grey jogging suit. But in a later update, police spokeswoman Marije Kuiper said they did not yet have a description of the suspect, adding that the initial statement was wrong.

    Kuiper also told reporters that it was not clear if the stabbing was a terror incident.

    "We are at this moment searching for a suspect, no one has been arrested yet," Kuiper said.

    Images on social media showed shoppers running in panic away from the scene, on a nighttime retail street lit by Christmas fairy lights.

    "I saw two girls screaming and running away. A man fled. He jumped very athletically over benches to get away. He looked like a cheetah," one witness told broadcaster NOS.

    "People were trying to get away. but that didn't work. I was shocked."

    The Netherlands had already been shocked by a similar stabbing in Amsterdam a year ago when two US citizens were injured in a knife attack that prosecutors say had a "terrorist motive".

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies