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Germany: six people injured with knives during an “attack”

A man injured six people with a knife on Friday in Mannheim, Germany, while attacking a gathering of an anti-Islam movement close to the far right, an act described as an “attack” by Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser raised the possibility of an Islamist act for this attack which occurs a few days before the European elections scheduled for June 9 in the country.

“If the investigation reveals an Islamist motive, it will be further confirmation of the great danger posed by Islamist acts of violence, against which we have warned”, she declared in a press release, referring to a “terrible crime”.

The attacker, about whom no details were provided, himself- was even shot and injured by the police during his neutralization. All the injured people were hospitalized and some underwent emergency surgery.

The head of government Olaf Scholz spoke of “horrible images” circulating about this attack. “Violence is absolutely unacceptable in our democracy,” he added on his X account (ex-Twitter).

According to the local police, the attacker first attacked “several participants in a gathering” of the “Pax Europa Citizen Movement” (BPE) at the end of the morning.

< p>This political movement indicates on its website that it wants to warn against “the dangers of the influence of political Islam on democratic societies in Germany and Europe”.

– “targeted attack” –

One of its managers, Stefanie Kizina, denounced “a targeted attack ” primarily targeting a prominent member of this formation, Michael Stürzenberger, known for years as an anti-Islam activist in Germany. The latter, close to far-right circles, was injured in particular “in the face and legs”, she added.

On images circulating on social networks, we see a young bearded man, armed with a dagger, attacking several people in the center of Mannheim.

Several men try to control him, without succeeding. The attacker manages to get up and hit a police officer in the back, before another officer neutralizes him by shooting him. The injured police officer was hit with a knife “several times near the head”, the prosecution said in a press release.

Germany: six people injured with knives during an “attack”

Police officers secure the area after several people were injured in a knife attack on May 31, 2024 in Mannheim, western Germany © dpa – Rene Priebe

According to several media, including the daily Bild, activist Michael Stürzenberger was preparing to speak at his movement's rally.

Aged 59 years ago, he was in the past spokesperson for the Bavarian conservative CSU party in Munich, before becoming closer to movements close to the extreme right and anti-Islam.

In recent months, several police operations have targeted Islamist circles and, according to the authorities, made it possible to avoid attacks.

Three minors suspected of preparing a terrorist attack in Germany with Islamist motives were arrested and detained over the Easter weekend.

Two Afghan jihadists suspected of having prepared an attack near the Swedish parliament were arrested in Thuringia (in eastern Germany) on March 19.

And at the end of December 2023 , three suspected Islamists were arrested, suspected of having planned an attack on New Year's Eve against Cologne Cathedral (west) using “a car”.

The deadliest jihadist attack committed on German soil dates back to December 2016: a ram truck attack claimed by the Islamic State group left 12 dead on one Christmas market in the center of Berlin.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116