Another German politician attacked as concerns rise over violence ahead of EU elections in June

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Franziska Giffey Berlin’s top economic official speaks to media after an event about solar energy in Berlin, Germany on May 8. (AP)

BERLIN, May 8, (AP): A prominent Berlin politician was violently assaulted and suffered injuries to her head and neck, police said Wednesday, in the latest attack on elected officials that raises concern over rising political violence in Germany.
Franziska Giffey, the city’s top economic official, a former mayor and an ex-federal minister, was attacked at an event in a Berlin library on Tuesday by a man who approached her from behind and hit her with a bag containing a hard device, police said.
Giffey was taken to a hospital and treated for head and neck pain, police said. A 74-year-old man was detained and police searched his home, police said. They said the suspect was known to police, but did not give any indication for a motive.
Berlin Mayor Kai Wegner strongly condemned the attack.
“Anyone who attacks politicians is attacking our democracy,” said Wegner, according to German news agency dpa. “We will not tolerate this. We will oppose all forms of violence, hatred and agitation and protect our democracy.”
Giffey wrote on Instagram that “we live in a free and democratic country in which everyone is free to express their opinion … and yet there is a clear limit. And that is violence against people who hold a different opinion, for whatever reason, in whatever form.”

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