An attack in the northern city of Hamburg thrust Chancellor Angela Merkel's refugee policy into the spotlight less than two months before Germany goes to the polls.

Police were aware that the man suspected of a stabbing spree on Friday had shown of signs Islamic radicalization, Hamburg's interior minister, Andy Grote, said in a press conference on Saturday. The attack in a supermarket in the Barmbek district left one man dead and six injured before bystanders overpowered the attacker.

The 26-year-old suspect is a Palestinian citizen whose request for refugee status had been declined. He had been ordered out of the country but lacked the necessary documents to travel, Grote said, adding that a few hours before the attack the man had inquired whether his documents were ready. The suspect, who had shown signs of mental instability, is now in police custody.

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