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After knife attack in Mannheim: Injured police officer in coma

After knife attack in Mannheim: Injured police officer in coma
The investigation is proceeding swiftly.

“His life is still in danger,” said a spokesman for the State Criminal Police Office on Saturday. Meanwhile, BPE board member Michael Stürzenberger, who was injured in the attack, also spoke from the hospital. “It was really close yesterday,” he wrote on Telegram.

  • Also read: Knife attack on Islam critic in Mannheim: Police shoot attacker

In the attack on Friday morning, a man injured several people on the market square in the city center, including the police officer, causing life-threatening injuries. The perpetrator had undergone surgery and was currently unable to be questioned, said the police spokesman. The motive is still unclear. According to consistent media reports, the man is a 25-year-old from Herat in Afghanistan who lives in southern Hesse. According to security sources, he is married to a German woman who has two children.

Multiple stab wounds

Stürzenberger reported on Saturday that he had suffered several stab wounds, one of which in the thigh caused “significant blood loss.” He was also injured in the face. Stürzenberger thanked all the doctors involved as well as the facial surgeons “who came especially from a specialist clinic.”

According to the organization’s treasurer, Stefanie Kizina, the attack was aimed specifically at Stürzenberger, who was injured in the face with a knife. She explained to the “Bild” newspaper: “He was hit in the leg and face and is undergoing emergency surgery. His life is apparently not in danger.”

Investigations are in full swing

The State Criminal Police Office says that numerous questions are still unanswered and are the subject of investigations. “What kind of knife is that? Where did it come from? Did he buy the knife?” – the answers to these questions will also help to determine whether the arrested man planned the crime or whether it was a spontaneous attack. The State Security Department of the Karlsruhe Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is responsible for political crimes, is investigating the case.

“Our thoughts are with everyone who was injured in the knife attack, and my thoughts as Interior Minister are of course especially with the injured police colleague,” Baden-Württemberg’s Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) told the “Bild” newspaper (Saturday).

“Put down the knife!”

Shortly after the attack, a video of the crime circulated on the Internet: It shows the attacker stabbing several people and bystanders shouting: “Put the knife down!” It also shows an officer shooting the attacker. Several police officers then pinned the man to the ground. According to the police, public prosecutor’s office and the State Criminal Police Office, only one shot was fired.

The crime caused horror across the country. Chancellor Olaf Scholz was also shocked. “The images from Mannheim are terrible,” he wrote on the X platform. “My thoughts are with the victims. Violence is absolutely unacceptable in our democracy. The perpetrator must be severely punished.”

Violence destroys democracy

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was outraged. “I condemn the crime in Mannheim in the strongest possible terms!”, his spokeswoman Cerstin Gammelin wrote on Steinmeier’s behalf on X. “There must be no room for violence in our democracy – violence destroys democracy. Freedom of expression is a precious asset.” Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck spoke of “terrible scenes of violence”. The circumstances of the crime must now be clarified quickly, Habeck told the German Press Agency on Friday.

Mannheim’s mayor Christian Specht (CDU) described the knife attack as a terrorist attack and stated: “In the name of the city of Mannheim and the Mannheim urban community, I condemn in the strongest possible terms this despicable, brutal terrorist attack during an anti-Islam event.”

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