Hague stabbing victims doing reasonably well, mayor says

Mayor Pauline Krikke of The Hague visited two of the three victims who were stabbed on Johanna Westerdijkplein on Saturday. They are doing reasonably well under the circumstances, she said after visiting them in hospital on Monday, RTL Nieuws reports.

"They are doing reasonably well, but it will take a long time before they are both physically and mentally on top of it again", she said. She will visit the third victim as soon as his medical condition permits it.

The mayor hopes that the victims will recover well from this 'atrocity', she said according to the broadcaster. "It can not be understood what happened to them. You're walking unsuspectingly through the city on a sunny Saturday, and you're just attacked by a man with a knife." 

Krikke also visited the various cafes on Johanna Westerdijkplein and spoke to the owners. "They were face to face with the suspect. I can imagine that such a moment will stay with you forever. It must have been horrific. They also told me it had a huge impact on them."

At the Laak police station, the mayor spoke to the officers involved in the arrest of the 31-year-old man suspected of stabbing the three victims. "It was also a difficult event for the officers. They were involved in the arrest of the suspect and gave the victims first aid", she said. "That, understandably, did not leave them unaffected. I wanted to convey my respect for their actions personally."

The police shot the suspect in the leg before arresting him. He was taken to a penitentiary hospital, where he was arraigned on Monday, NU.nl reports. The magistrate remanded him into custody for 14 days while his background and motives are investigated.

The Public Prosecutor said that they have a "reasonably good picture" of what happened during the stabbing on Saturday. The Prosecutor is "keeping all options open" in the investigation, including terrorism. The man is suspected of three counts of attempted murder and threatening someone in a cafe on Johanna Westerdijkplein. 

According to newspaper AD, the suspect is Malek F., a Syrian refugee.