Islam critic amongst a number of wounded in knife assault at rally in Germany | EUROtoday

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A distinguished Islam critic was amongst six individuals wounded in a knife assault at a rally in Germany on Friday, drawing fast condemnation from the nation’s leaders.

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The assault, simply days earlier than EU-wide elections, comes amid a spike of politically motivated violence in Germany.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser raised the chance that the assault could possibly be Islamist motivated.

A person with a knife attacked and wounded a number of individuals in the marketplace sq. within the metropolis of Mannheim, round 90 kilometres (55 miles) south of Frankfurt in southwest Germany, at round 11:35 am (0935 GMT), police mentioned in an announcement.

Five of these wounded have been collaborating in a rally organised by Pax Europa, a marketing campaign group in opposition to radical Islam, police mentioned.

A police officer who intervened was additionally stabbed a number of instances behind the pinnacle, it mentioned.

Officers fired on the attacker and wounded him.

“The extent and severity of the injuries are not yet known,” the police mentioned, including that the identification of the attacker had not but been decided.

“The images from Mannheim are terrible,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote on X, including that “Violence is absolutely unacceptable in our democracy. The perpetrator must be severely punished.”

Pax Europa mentioned on its web site that one of many victims was Michael Stuerzenberger, a German far-right activist and blogger, who had been due to participate within the rally.

Stuerzenberger suffered severe stab wounds to his face and likewise to his leg, the group mentioned.

‘Great hazard’

Stuerzenberger has been a distinguished anti-Islam campaigner in Germany for a number of years.

The Bavarian safety companies have accused him of creating “Islamophobic statements”, and has classed Pax Europa as Islamophobic.

Faeser known as for a radical investigation into the attacker’s motive.

“If the investigations reveal an Islamist motive, this would be a further confirmation of the great danger posed by Islamist acts of violence,” she mentioned in an announcement.

Germany has been on excessive alert for doable Islamist assaults because the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict, with the nation’s home intelligence chief warning that the danger of such assaults is “real and higher than it has been for a long time”.

The nation had additionally seen a spate of assaults on politicians at work or on the marketing campaign path forward of EU Parliament elections on June 9.

Matthias Ecke, a European parliament lawmaker for Scholz’s SPD get together, was set upon this month by a gaggle of youths as he put up election posters within the japanese metropolis of Dresden.

Days later, former Berlin mayor Franziska Giffey was hit on the pinnacle and neck with a bag as she visited a library in Berlin.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier mentioned final week that he was fearful by the rising development and mentioned Germans “must never get used to violence in the battle of political opinions”.