Anti-Islam activist injured in stabbing during Mannheim knife attack

In the city of Mannheim, located in southwestern Germany, an individual has launched a knife attack at a market square, targeting six individuals, including a police officer, according to local law enforcement officials.

According to his group, anti-Islam activist Michael Stürzenberger, who had been gearing up for a rally in the square, was among the injured.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed his deep concern over the incident, describing it as “terrible.” He extended his heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families.

In a recent post on X, the individual expressed their strong condemnation of violence in our democracy, emphasizing the need for severe punishment for those responsible.

A “major police operation” was reported by the Mannheim police on their Twitter account, which took place in the city’s market square. Additionally, a rescue helicopter was dispatched to the scene to assist.

According to a follow-up statement from the police, at 11:35 (10:35 BST), an individual used a knife to attack and injure multiple people.

The attacker was then met with the use of a firearm.

The attack reportedly took place simultaneously with a rally in the market square led by Michael Stürzenberger, a far-right anti-Islam activist, and his organization, the Citizens’ Movement Pax Europa (BPE).

The city of Mannheim has confirmed that an event has been registered for Friday morning on the market square, according to a spokeswoman.

Mr. Stürzenberger was attacked in the leg and face, confirmed by BPE to Bild newspaper.

According to Stefanie Kizina, a colleague of Mr. Stürzenberger, he will need to undergo surgery, but his life is not at risk.

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“The attack was meticulously planned well in advance, as it occurred even before the event had commenced,” she remarked.

The police have not provided any additional details regarding the individuals who were injured in the attack.

According to the local newspaper Mannheimer Morgen, the attacker caused injuries to six individuals, which included five BPE members and one police officer.

The police officer is in critical condition and will require emergency surgery, according to DPA.

A group of police officers armed with firearms quickly surround him, causing him to collapse onto the ground.

According to German media outlets, the suspect, a 25-year-old man, is of Afghan origin but currently resides in Germany. However, the police have not yet disclosed his identity.

Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser has stated that while a motive has not yet been confirmed, there is a possibility that the attack could be motivated by Islamic extremism.

Who is Michael Stürzenberger?

According to Bild, Michael Stürzenberger writes an Islamophobic blog and belongs to BPE, an organization opposing the “Islamisation” of Germany.

At 58, he contributes to the anti-Muslim platform PI-News and is under surveillance by the Bavarian domestic intelligence service.

Mr. Stürzenberger, a former politician, previously headed a small right-wing populist party called Die Freiheit, which was disbanded in 2016.

He used to be a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), which is the Bavarian sister party of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). However, he left the party before he was expelled.

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