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Officer dies after attack at anti-Islam rally in Germany

A 29-year-old police officer has died after being repeatedly stabbed during an attack at an anti-Islam rally in Germany.

A man attacked and wounded several people with a knife on Friday at the market square in the city of Mannheim in southwest 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.

Immediately following the attack, he underwent “emergency surgery and was put in an artificial coma”, but “died of his injuries”, police said.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was “deeply saddened” by the death of the police officer following the “terrible attack”.

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

Finance Minister Christian Lindner told Bild the death of the police officer “moves me deeply and makes me angry about what is happening in our country”.

“We must defend ourselves against Islamist terrorism with determination, and we will also strengthen the security authorities financially,” Mr Lindner said.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser on Friday called for a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the attack.

“If the investigations reveal an Islamist motive, this would be a further confirmation of the great danger posed by Islamist acts of violence,” she said in a statement.

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

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

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”.

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