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German right wing candidate stabbed in latest attack ahead of elections


Jun 5, 2024

A member of the German right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD) running in this weekend’s local elections was stabbed on Tuesday in the city of Mannheim, the same city where an immigrant from Afghanistan stabbed several people just a few days ago including a police officer who later died from his injuries. 

Last night’s attack took place close to the market square when the candidate spotted somebody trying to tear down an election poster, the German news agency dpa reported on Wednesday.

The candidate confronted that person, who then stabbed him with a knife. Dpa reported that the candidate is in a hospital with non-life-threatening cuts.

The attacker was detained, dpa reported.


“We are shocked and dismayed,” local AfD leader, Markus Frohnmaier, told dpa.

Malte Kaufmann, an AfD politician and member of the Bundestag, identified the victim on X as Heinrich Koch, and said he was “seriously injured with a carpet knife.” Officials have yet to confirm this. 

“The perpetrator was tearing down AfD election posters with two other people when he was caught by Mr Koch,” Kaufmann wrote, which has been translated into English.

“I wish my party colleague a lot of strength and a speedy recovery. This political violence must stop!”


The incident comes about a week after an Afghan migrant went on a stabbing spree in Mannheim, which is located in the southwest of Germany.

The migrant attacked and wounded Anti-Islam activist Michael Stürzenberger and several others who are all members of the Buergerbewegung Pax Europa group, which describes itself as opposing “political Islam.”

One of the victims stabbed was a police officer who was placed in an artificial coma but succumbed to his injuries on Sunday. 

Police shot the migrant to halt his attack and he is now recovering from his injuries. 

Last month, Franziska Giffey, Berlin’s top economic official, a former mayor and an ex-federal minister, was attacked at an event in a local library by a man who approached her from behind and hit her with a bag containing a hard device, police said.

A week before that, a candidate from the party of Chancellor Olaf Scholz was beaten up in the eastern city of Dresden while campaigning for this week’s election for the European Parliament and had to undergo surgery.

Germans are preparing to vote in the local and European Parliament elections this weekend. European elections will take place across the 27 member states of the EU.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


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