German AfD politician stabbed in second attack within days

German AfD politician stabbed in second attack within days
# 05 June 2024 15:09 (UTC +04:00)

A local candidate for Germany's right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has been injured in a knife attack, the party and police said on Wednesday, the second such incident in the city of Mannheim days after a police officer was killed, APA reports citing Reuters.

AfD member Heinrich Koch was attacked with a cutter knife after confronting the suspect who was tearing down election posters near a town square, the party said. Police said the 25-year-old suspect was detained and, showing clear signs of mental illness, was taken to a psychiatric hospital.

It comes days after the attack at an anti-Islam demonstration in which a policeman was killed, at a time when the number of assaults and abuse against politicians across the spectrum has surged ahead of hotly contested elections.

Koch needed stitches in his head and had a cut in his stomach, but the injuries were not life-threatening, the party said. AfD co-chief Alice Weidel told Reuters the attack was a "shocking act that leaves you stunned".

The party has sought to portray the attack as part of a targeted campaign by left-wing extremists against AfD members. However, police said there was no concrete evidence that the suspect knew that he was attacking an AfD politician.

Verbal and physical attacks on politicians in Germany have more than doubled since 2019, according to government data, as the country gears up for European elections and local elections in three states. The AfD is expected to perform strongly in the polls.

The knife attack on Friday by a 25-year-old originally from Afghanistan also severely injured six people, prompting calls for a tougher line on migration.

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