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Local leader of German far-right party attacked, wounded

Local leader of German far-right party attacked, wounded

Frank Magnitz, leader in Bremen of the anti-immigration populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD), was assaulted in the city centre on Monday afternoon.

Chancellor Angela Merkel led condemnations Tuesday of a "politically motivated" gang attack against a far-right German MP, an assault that underlined an increasingly tense political atmosphere.

They shared a photo of Mr Magnitz lying bloody and injured in a hospital bed and called the attack an "assassination attempt".

The attackers knocked him unconscious with a piece of wood and kicked him in the head, AfD officials said. They stopped when some...

Lawmakers from across the political spectrum condemned the attack.

While they have won fans in some quarters and are projected to make gains in European elections in May as well as three regional polls in Germany's former communist east this year, they have also sparked furore and become a target of attack.

"Violence should never be a means for political disputes - totally regardless against whom or what the motives for it are".

Last week, an explosive device detonated in a rubbish bin damaged an AfD office in Saxony.

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"There is no justification for this", Maas said, calling for those responsible to be punished.

That was echoed by other politicians from established parties, including prominent Green party politician Cem Ozdemir, who said that AfD must be countered by legal means, not violence.

The AfD leader, Jörg Meuthen, said Magnitz was "beaten nearly to death".

"Those who fight hate with hate only allow hate to win in the end", said the politician of Turkish origin.

AfD is represented in all of Germany's 16 state parliaments. It entered the national parliament in 2017 and is the biggest opposition party there. The Bremen office of the AfD praised Magnitz's rescuer for his "courageous intervention" and suggested he saved the politician's life.

The party took 10 percent of the vote in Bremen in the 2017 national election, below its nationwide result of 12.6 percent.

AfD entered the national parliament (Bundestag) for the first time previous year with 94 seats and now has representatives in every German state parliament. The mayor was known for voluntarily taking in more asylum-seekers than the small town was obliged to do so by authorities.