Merkel condemns knife attack against pro-refugee town mayor

Berlin - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday condemned a politically motivated knife attack against a town mayor known for his liberal stance towards migrants.

Andreas Hollstein, the mayor of Altena and a member of Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), was stabbed in the neck late Monday in a kebab shop by an intoxicated man wielding a 30-centimetre-long knife and shouting criticism of his asylum policies.
The attacker, who officials describe as "a 56-year-old man suspected of having a xenophobic motive," was held down by bystanders until police arrived to arrest him. He is currently under investigation for attempted murder.
"I am appalled by the knife attack against Mayor Andreas Hollstein - and very relieved that he is able to be with his family again," Merkel was quoted as saying by her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, on Twitter. "Thank you also to those who helped him."
Police and prosecutors in the town of Hagen said Tuesday that Hollstein sustained a 15-centimetre-long incision in his neck, but was released from hospital after receiving stitches.
In his first public statement since the stabbing, Hollstein told local newspaper Lokalstimme he had had "proactive people by my side and am glad to be alive."
Altena made headlines in Germany for accepting more refugees than required by the national quota.
The attack is reminiscent of the stabbing of Henriette Reker, the mayor of Cologne. Reker was also known for her liberal migrant policies.
Hollstein plans to give a press conference at 11 am (1000 GMT) and police and prosecutors will update the public on their investigation two hours later.


Tuesday, November 28th 2017
By Friederike Heine,

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