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Germany: New knife attack in Mannheim wounds local AfD politician

Image source, Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP

Legend, Police don’t think suspect knew victim was far-right candidate

  • Author, Paul Kirby
  • Role, BBC News

A local politician was attacked in the German city of Mannheim, five days after a fatal attack on a police officer in the market square.

The man, described as a local election candidate for the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, was cut off in the attack, German news agency DPA reported.

Police confirmed that the incident took place on Tuesday evening, near the scene of Friday’s deadly attack which targeted the organizers of a rally against radical Islam and which cost the life of a police officer. 29 years.

They said the politician was taken to hospital for treatment, but his life was not in danger.

The local AfD said its candidate chased a man who tore up election posters and then cut him with a knife.

Senior AfD politicians identified the victim of Tuesday’s attack as Heinrich Koch, 62, a candidate in this weekend’s municipal elections in Mannheim.

Police in Baden-Wuerttemberg, in the southwest of the country, said they arrested a 25-year-old suspect, who was later taken to a psychiatric hospital after showing clear signs of mental illness.

They stressed that there was no concrete evidence that he knew the victim was an AfD politician.

The latest incident in Mannheim comes after the arrest of an Afghan asylum seeker suspected of repeatedly stabbing a police officer, who later died in hospital. Five other people were injured in the attack as they prepared for a rally of a group opposed to radical Islam.

The killing sparked outrage in Germany, prompting the government to announce it could authorize deportations to Afghanistan.

The suspect in Friday’s attack, aged 25, is believed to have arrived in Germany as a refugee in 2013 and has since had two children. Deportations to Afghanistan ended when the Taliban returned to power three years ago.

This violence comes as Germans prepare to vote on Sunday in European Parliament elections, as well as municipal elections in seven Länder, including Baden-Württemberg.

The 27 EU countries participate in the vote in the European Parliament. The AfD is vying with Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats for second place, although the far-right party’s main candidates have been hit by a succession of scandals.

“We are shocked and dismayed,” Markus Frohnmaier, a senior AfD official in Baden-Württemberg, told German media in response to the latest incident.

News Source : www.bbc.com
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