German rail system plans to add 500 workers for security

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s railways, reeling from an attack by an axe-wielding youth who injured four passengers on a train last week, on Wednesday said it would add 500 workers to bolster security in coming years.

Deutsche Bahn Chief Executive Ruediger Grube told reporters the rail operator would also increase its cooperation with the German federal police force.

“We will increase our security cooperation,” Grube said. “We will hire 500 additional security workers in coming years.”

The new workers will join 3,700 security personnel and 5,000 federal police already in place in trains and at rail stations, Grube said.

Deutsche Bahn had already announced after the July 18 train attack near Wuerzburg in southern Germany that it would install more cameras at railway stations and on trains.

Police are continuing to investigate the background of the 17-year-old refugee who injured four tourists from Hong Kong on board and a local woman after fleeing the train, before being shot dead by police.

Authorities have said the refugee, who may have come from Afghanistan or Pakistan, had clear longer-term ties to Islamist extremist groups.

A spokeswoman for the Bavarian federal prosecutor’s office declined comment on the background of the attacker, saying the investigation was continuing.

Reporting by Markus Wacket and Andrea Shalal; Writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Tom Heneghan