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Frankfurt prosecutors said the case appeared to be linked to the fatal stabbing of a car dealer near Frankfurt in 2007, which the court was considering this week, news agency dpa reported.
Deputy police chief Gerhard Bereswill said the suspected assailant is believed to be the brother of the 2007 victim and was injured himself in the earlier attack, while the two men who died Friday — who also were car dealers — were suspects.
The suspect is believed to have fired shots in a courtyard at the courthouse in the German financial capital at about 8:45 a.m., fatally wounding one of the victims. The other apparently fled inside the building, but the assailant followed and stabbed him, police spokesman Ruediger Reges told N24 television.
The two victims were aged 45 and 50. One died at the scene and the other shortly afterward at a hospital, police said.
The suspected attacker fled on foot but was arrested near the courthouse, he said. A police statement said he was a 47-year-old Afghan national and resident of Eschborn, a town near Frankfurt.
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