London: British police arrested a woman for attempted murder Saturday after reports that she chased a man through a shopping district with a large knife before stabbing him.
“A 28-year-old woman arrested this morning on suspicion of attempted murder remains in police custody,” police said after the incident in the northern English city of Barnsley.
“The woman is currently being assessed from a mental health perspective.”
One man suffered minor injuries in the attack.
Britain is on high alert after a string of deadly terror attacks, many involving knives, and the incident raised fears of terrorism.
Assistant chief constable Tim Forber of South Yorkshire Police earlier said officers were “keeping an open mind as to the motivation”.
He said his force was “receiving support” from a local counter-terrorism unit.
Market stall holder Terry Ellis told AFP he saw a woman with a “big knife, (measuring) about 12 inches” (30.5cm) running after a man and shouting “kill, kill, kill”.
Another trader, Abdul Razak, added: “This lady followed this man saying I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you.”
Other local traders said the stabbing, initially declared by police as a “serious incident”, caused the covered market and other parts of the town centre to be “locked down”.
Police were alerted at around 8.20am (0720 GMT), and recovered a kitchen knife at the scene.
Forber called on any witnesses to come forward, but urged locals to remain calm.
“We understand that this morning’s incident will have been distressing and shocking for those in the town centre and wider Barnsley communities,” he said.
“Rest assured we are working relentlessly to piece together what happened.”
Several crime scenes have been established and police said they would stay in the area until there was more clarity about what happened.
Earlier the Facebook page of Barnsley Mayday Green Market reported that “this market and most of the town centre is in lockdown”, before later declaring it had received the all-clear.