Police officer killed during rally in Germany

German federal prosecutors have begun investigating a knife attack which left a police officer dead in Mannheim during a rally organised by Pax Europa.

On Monday (3 June), thousands of people gathered in the southwestern German city to pay their respects for 29-year-old.

German authorities said they believe there was an Islamist motive behind the knife attack at the anti-Islam rally.

The federal prosecutor, Germany's highest prosecuting authority with responsibility for terrorism, espionage and international criminal law, is taking on the case due to its "particular importance," a spokesperson told German broadcaster DW.

She said the suspected attacker, a 25-year-old Afghan national and nine-year German resident who was shot by police and remains in hospital, is suspected to have wanted to prevent critics of Islam from exercising their right to freedom of expression.

The suspect, who reportedly had no criminal record and was not known to German law enforcement, faces possible charges of murder, attempted murder and five counts of serious bodily harm.

The stabbings occurred a week before Germany votes in the European Parliament elections.


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