Two U.S. service members were arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of an individual in the German town of Wittlich.

U.S. European Command confirmed that local police arrested two American military members as authorities probe the death of the victim, which took place on Saturday, Aug. 19. The two service members were questioned and then released into the custody of the 52nd Security Forces Squadron. That transfer was done under the NATO Status of Forces Agreement. The two will stay detained until the investigation is complete. 

“This is certainly an intolerable and preventable tragedy in our peaceful community,” Col. Kevin Crofton, 52nd Fighter Wing commander said in a EUCOM statement. “We thank the local Polizei and the Wittlich town leadership for their partnership and patience as the investigation runs its course.”

EUCOM provided no additional information on the two service members or the events of Aug. 19.

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Wittlich is a small town approximately 25 kilometers east of Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany. Al-Arabiya, citing Trier police and local news reports, said that the stabbing occurred after a fight broke out between several people at a fair in the town. 

“Following the murder of a 28-year-old man, two suspects were arrested … They are American servicemen,” police from the German town of Trier (sometimes anglicized as Treves) told Al-Arabiya. Police added that four people, two men and two women, were seen fleeing the scene. 

Wittlich’s mayor told local news that the town had “never experienced anything like this.”

EUCOM is based out of Stuttgart, Germany, and the United States has approximately 35,000 troops stationed in the nation. Spangdahlem Air Base is a NATO air base operated by the U.S. Air Force.

The investigation is ongoing. 

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