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Knife Attack in Mannheim Leaves Six Injured, Assailant Shot by Police

The knife attack occurred shortly after 11:30 a.m. (0930 GMT) on Friday at the Marktplatz, a central square in the southwestern German city of Mannheim. An assailant armed with a knife attacked participants at a demonstration organized by the Pax Europa group, a far-right organization opposed to “political Islam.”
Knife Attack in Mannheim Leaves Six Injured, Assailant Shot by Police

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Six people were wounded in the attack including a police officer who intervened. The assailant was shot by another police officer.

The attacker was also injured. The injured were transported to various hospitals with some undergoing surgeries. Authorities have not yet disclosed the severity of the injuries.

The assailant first stabbed participants of the Pax Europa event, injuring five members. A police officer attempting to intervene was stabbed several times from behind in the head.

Another officer at the scene fired a shot at the assailant, bringing the attack to an end. Emergency services including first responders and a rescue helicopter were deployed to the scene.

Authorities have not yet established the identity of the assailant or the motive behind the attack. German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser stated that the investigation would determine the motive, hinting at the possibility of an Islamist motive.

Thomas Strobl, Faeser’s regional counterpart in Baden-Wuerttemberg indicated that no conclusions could be drawn about the perpetrator’s motive at this stage.

Police assured the public that there was no longer any imminent danger following the incident. Condemned the violence, calling it “absolutely unacceptable in our democracy” and addressing that the perpetrator should be punished severely.

Expressed concern over the potential Islamist motive, reinforcing the threat of Islamist violence in Germany.

She also extended her thoughts to the seriously injured police officer and the other victims. Described himself as “speechless” and urged the public to refrain from speculating about the attacker’s motives until official findings are released.

Pax Europa is an organization that describes its mission as informing the public about the dangers posed by the increasing spread and influence of political Islam.

Among the injured was Michael Stürzenberger, an anti-Islam activist affiliated with Pax Europa. Stürzenberger is known for his vocal criticism of Islam and has been involved with several far-right groups including the PEGIDA movement.

Social media footage showed a bearded man attacking individuals with a knife in Mannheim’s Marktplatz square.

In the footage, one person appeared to be stabbed in the leg and the police officer who intervened was cut in the neck.

The live stream footage bearing a watermark linked to Stürzenberger’s “Open Eyes” anti-Islam tour, provided a real-time view of the scene as civilians and police attempted to subdue the attacker.

Stürzenberger sustained injuries to his leg and face and is scheduled to undergo surgery. His condition is not life-threatening.

Stefanie Kizina, a colleague of Stürzenberger confirmed to Bild newspaper that the attack seemed premeditated, occurring before the rally began.

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One police officer who intervened during the attack is in critical condition and requires emergency surgery. The local newspaper Mannheimer Morgen reported that the attacker injured five members of Stürzenberger’s organization, Citizens’ Movement Pax Europa (BPE), and one police officer.

The video shows a man, described as wearing glasses and having a beard, attacking individuals with a knife.

One person appears to have a leg wound and the Mannheim police officer is seen being stabbed in the back. Bystanders initially struggled with the attacker before he broke free and continued his assault. Several police officers then surrounded him and one officer shot the attacker.

The attacker has not been officially named by the Mannheim police. However, German media reports suggest he is a 25-year-old man of Afghan origin who resides in Germany.

While the motive remains unconfirmed, Germany’s Interior Minister, Nancy Faeser indicated the possibility of an Islamist motivation behind the attack.

Scholz described the incident as “terrible” and expressed his thoughts for the victims on X , said that violence is unacceptable in a democracy and the perpetrator should be severely punished.

Michael Stürzenberger is the author of an Islamophobic blog and a member of BPE, an organization opposing the “Islamisation” of Germany.

Stürzenberger is a former politician who led the right-wing populist party Die Freiheit until its dissolution in 2016.

He was previously a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), but left before facing expulsion.

His activities are monitored by the Bavarian domestic intelligence service due to his involvement with the anti-Muslim platform PI-News.

The City of Mannheim confirmed that BPE had registered an event at the Mannheim’s market square for Friday morning. The rally was part of BPE’s campaign against the perceived spread and influence of political Islam in Germany.

Mannheim police tweeted about the “major police operation” at the market square, deploying a rescue helicopter to the scene.

Mannheim Police confirmed that a firearm was used against the attacker during the incident and investigations are ongoing to determine the full extent of the injuries and the attacker’s motives.

The attack comes during a European Parliament campaign where the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party is campaigning on issues including the dangers posed by migration from Muslim countries.

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