German Policeman Dies After Intervening In Stabbing At Anti-Islam Rally

Update (2000ET): A 29-year-old German police officer who was repeatedly stabbed during an attack at an anti-Islam rally in the city of Mannheim has died of his wounds after having been "stabbed several times in the area of the head."

The policeman was previously identified as Rouven L. by German media and was being kept alive by a heart-lung machine

The officer, identified as Rouven L in German media, underwent emergency surgery following the attack and was placed in an artificial coma, only to die of his injuries on Sunday, the Daily Mail reports.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that he was "deeply saddened" by the officer's death.

"His commitment to the safety of all of us deserves the highest recognition," Scholz posted on X.

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 Incredible scenes from Mannheim: Man stabs Islam critic Michael Stürzenberger in front of running cameras. When a police officer intervenes, he is also stabbed.

Mannheim - There was an attack on Islam critic Michael Stürzenberger in Mannheim city center. A video from the politician's livestream shows a man attacking the politician with a knife and trying to stab him. Stürzenberger and one of his supporters were apparently injured at least in the leg.

A police officer who tried to stop the attacker was also attacked and stabbed in the neck and head. According to the local regional newspaper Mannheimer Morgen, the officer was seriously injured. The video ends with the attacker being shot down by approaching officers.

On X, the Mannheim police also justified the fact that a supporter of Stürzenberg who was attacked by the assassin was arrested immediately after the attack. When a user asked why this had happened, the security authority wrote:" Does a blue club vest mean that you don't commit any crimes?"

According to Die Zeit, the attacker is an Afghan from Hessen born in 1999 and not known to the police.
Stürzenberger has been in the sights of radical Muslims for years

Immediately after the incident, the police announced that a major police operation would take place on the market square in Mannheim: "According to current information, an attack on several people took place on the market square in Mannheim at around 11:35 a.m. today. One person is said to have attacked several people with a knife and injured them. No information can yet be given about the extent and severity of the injuries. A firearm was then used against the attacker. The attacker was also injured as a result."

The attack took place during a rally of the anti-Islam "Citizens' Movement Pax Europa". Stürzenberger has been reading suras from the Koran for years. He has therefore been the target of radical Muslims for some time. He became known throughout Germany with a citizens' petition against the construction of a mosque in Munich. However, this was rejected by the administration of the Bavarian capital for formal reasons.

Not the first attack on Stürzenberger

The BPE was shocked in its initial reaction: "This was not an attack, but an act of terror. The attack happened before the event even started, it must have been planned well in advance. Criticism of religion must be allowed, it is a core element of the European Enlightenment," said a spokeswoman.

According to the citizens' movement, there is apparently no danger to his life. "He was hit in the leg and face and is undergoing emergency surgery. This is the second serious attack on him," the association noted. In 2022, a 20-year-old of Arab descent punched the Islam critic in the face in Bonn. The district court dropped the proceedings against the perpetrator at the time, subject to certain conditions.

The crime scene is temporarily a knife-free zone on weekends

Around two hours after the attack, Mannheim's mayor Christian Specht (CDU) also visited the scene to see what had happened. "The brutal act is shocking and devastating, it leaves us speechless," said Specht. "Our thoughts are with the officers and the other injured. It is important not to speculate now, but to wait for the investigations." The security forces drove a tram onto the market square to block onlookers' view of the crime scene. Masked police officers and the State Criminal Police Office were also on site to secure evidence.

The crime occurred in a so-called knife-free zone in the city. Carrying knives and similar objects is strictly prohibited there on Fridays from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Saturdays, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Sundays, and on days before public holidays from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on the morning of the public holiday. However, this did not apply at the time of the crime.

First political reactions

Initial reactions are also coming from political Berlin. The deputy head of the AfD, Stephan Brandner, said the brutality of the action was shocking. "The incident clearly shows once again that German politics is helpless and, above all, defenseless against knife attackers as a result of the years of failure of successive governments, the Federal President, the churches, unions and other actors." Citizens are "at the mercy of such attacks without actually having a chance."

The chairman of the German police union, Rainer Wendt, commented on the attack on Welt TV. "When two extremists meet, it becomes dangerous," he said, calling Stürzenberger an "extremist critic of Islam" and the attacker "possibly an Islamist." He praised the use of firearms and noted that being near a "knife hero" was life-threatening for police officers.

Scholz and Faeser comment on Mannheim

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) also commented on the attack in the afternoon. "The images from Mannheim are terrible. Several people were seriously injured by an attacker. My thoughts are with the victims. Violence is absolutely unacceptable in our democracy. The perpetrator must be severely punished," he wrote on the short message service X.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) condemned the attack and wished those attacked a full recovery. She also commented on the possible motive on X. "If the investigations reveal an Islamist motive, then that would be a further confirmation of the great danger posed by Islamist acts of violence that we have warned about," she wrote.

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