Knifeman shot by police after stabbing at least three people at German political rally

Knifeman shot by police after stabbing at least three people at German political rally

A knifeman wounded several people, including a police officer, in a stabbing frenzy at a political rally in Germany.

The attacker struck shortly after 11.30am in the southwestern city of Mannheim, during an event staged by the Citizens’ Movement Pax Europa (BPE), which advocates against the “Islamisation” of Europe.

Police shot at the man, who was also injured during the fracas on the Marktplatz, a square in the city’s downtown area.

Police shot the attacker (AP)
Police shot the attacker (AP)

Police said they could not immediately give any information on the severity of the injuries.

Footage showed a bearded knifeman attacking people before being shot by an armed officer.

One person appeared to be stabbed in the leg and a policeman who tried to intervene appeared to be cut at the neck. Another policeman then shot the attacker.

“There is currently a major police operation on the market square in Mannheim,” local police said.

“A rescue helicopter is also in use.”

Shortly before the attack took place, anti-Islam activist Michael Stuerzenberger was seen on a livestream preparing to give a speech to a small crowd in Mannheim, which is is south of Frankfurthas about 300,000 residents.

Forensics officers searched the scene of the attacks (AP)
Forensics officers searched the scene of the attacks (AP)

The Pax Europa group, which describes itself as an organisation that informs the public about “the dangers posed by the increasing spread and influence of political Islam”, said the attack happened on the sidelines of an event it staged.

It said Mr Sturzenberger was among those wounded.

The violence comes in the final stretch of a European parliament campaign in which the far-right Alternative for Germany party has campaigned partially on what it claims is the danger posed by migration from Muslim countries.

Germany’s interior minister Nancy Faeser said it was up to investigators to determine a motive.

She said that “if the investigation shows an Islamist motive, that would be another confirmation of the great danger from Islamist acts of violence that we have warned of”.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz wrote on social media that the pictures from Mannheim were terrible and that “violence is absolutely unacceptable in our democracy”.

“The attacker must be punished severely,” he added.

Mr Stuerzenberger, 59, who describes himself as an Islam-critical journalist, has been a member of several far-right anti-Islam organisations.