Police officer dies after stabbing at anti-Islam rally in Mannheim

Policeman injured after knife attack in Germany succumbed to his injuries, police say

German police officers in Mannheim, Germany, after learning that a colleague, who was stabbed two days ago there, has died. AP
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A police officer, 29, died on Sunday after being repeatedly stabbed during an attack at an anti-Islam rally in Germany.

A knife-wielding man attacked and wounded several people Friday on the market square in the city of Mannheim in south-west Germany.

Five people taking part in a rally organised by Pax Europa, a campaign group against radical Islam, were wounded in the attack.

The policeman was "stabbed several times in the area of the head" while trying to intervene, local police said in a statement.

After the attack, he underwent "emergency surgery and was put in an artificial coma", but "died of his injuries" on Sunday, police said.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was "deeply saddened" by the death of the officer after the "terrible attack".

"His commitment to the safety of all of us deserves the highest recognition," Mr Scholz said on X.

If an extremist motive behind the attack were to be confirmed, "that shows how strongly we must continue to fight Islamist terror", Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement.

"Our security authorities have the Islamist scene firmly in their sights," Ms Faeser said.

Finance Minister Christian Lindner told German daily Bild: "We must defend ourselves against Islamist terrorism with determination, and we will also strengthen the security authorities financially."

Germany has been on high alert for such attacks since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, with the country's domestic intelligence chief warning that the risk is "real and higher than it has been for a long time".

The country had also had a spate of attacks on politicians at work or on the campaign trail for the EU elections on June 9.

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said last week that he was worried by the growing trend and said Germans "must never get used to violence in the battle of political opinions".

Updated: June 03, 2024, 6:33 AM