World Bulletin / News Desk
The pro-refugee mayor of the western German city of Altena was stabbed by a suspected far-right sympathizer on Monday night, due to his welcoming stance towards migrants.
Andreas Hollstein, who survived the attack with minor injuries, thanked Abdullah Demir, the owner of a kebab shop and his son, who intervened and saved his life.
“If they were not there, I would’t be sitting here today. I would like to thank them, our citizens of Altena,” Hollstein told a news conference on Tuesday.
The 54-year-old politician from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is a prominent figure in Germany, known for his supportive refugee stance.
Police told local media the perpetrator, a 56-year-old German, attacked Hollstein with a knife after asking him: “Are you the mayor?“.
The perpetrator was arrested at the scene, and police said they suspected a xenophobic motivation lay behind the attack.
German authorities have been alarmed by growing violence against refugees and pro-refugee politicians in recent years.
Since 2015, Germany received more than 1.1 million refugees, mostly Syrians and Iraqis, who were forced to flee their homes due to conflict.
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