Attack on German politician 'linked to refugee crisis'

Front-runner in Cologne's mayoral race Henriette Reker seriously wounded in "political" knife attack while campaigning.

    Attack on German politician 'linked to refugee crisis'
    Officials from the CDU, which backs Reker's mayoral campaign, said the election was expected to continue [AP]

    A German politician has been seriously wounded in a knife attack police suspect was linked to her work dealing with the ongoing refugee crisis. 

    Pressure grows on Merkel to limit refugee numbers

    An official for German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Party (CPD) told Al Jazeera that Henriette Reker was attacked in Cologne while campaigning for the city's mayoral election due to be held on Sunday.

    Reker, an independent who is backed by the CPD and two other parties, was handing out roses to passers-by when she was set upon by a man in his mid-forties carrying two knives, the official said.

    "He asked if he could have a rose, she said 'yes', and then the person attacked her with two knives and she was hurt," the CPD official said, adding that Sunday's vote was expected to continue as scheduled.

    Reker's campaign team posted a statement on Twitter saying the candidate's condition was "serious but stable", and thanked paramedics for preventing worse.


    RELATED: Germany's intrepid refugee helpers


    Germany's Bild newspaper quoted a regional police official who said they arrested a man who had admitted to attacking Reker out of "xenophobic" and "political" motives.

    Reker is the current deputy-mayor of Cologne and had been responsible for accommodating refugees arriving in the city, the newspaper said.

    Reker was handing out roses while campaigning when the attacker revealed two knives [EPA]

    Germany is facing an increase in far-right attacks as tens of thousands of refugees enter the country seeking escape from war and poverty.

    They get to Germany after making arduous and often deadly journeys across the Mediterranean, and then overland through eastern European countries that seek to block their movement.

    Merkel has allowed their entry into the country but faces increasing pressure from even her closest allies to end the influx.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    More than 2,300 political parties have registered for the largest electoral exercise in the world.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.