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Teen hands himself into police after attack on German politician

By Stephanie Halasz, CNN

(CNN) — A 17-year-old boy handed himself in to police after admitting that he attacked a German politician on Friday.

Police say that Matthias Ecke, the candidate for the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in the upcoming European elections, was attacked when putting up campaign posters.

According to Saxony Police, the minor went to a police station in the early hours of Sunday morning and confessed to attacking the SPD politician in the east German city of Dresden.

A further three people are also suspected of carrying out the attack alongside the minor, police said, though their whereabouts are unknown.

A second campaigner – for the Greens Party – was also attacked by the group of four, police said earlier on X.

The SPD Saxony branch blamed the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) for the violence. AfD has been steadily gaining support across the country, especially in Eastern States like Saxony.

“Yesterday our top candidate for the European elections Matthias Ecke was attacked while he was installing posters and seriously injured. Violence and intimidation of democrats are the means of fascists. The seeds sown by the AfD and other right-wing extremists are sprouting,” SPD Saxony said on X Saturday.

Jörg Urban, party leader of the AfD in Saxony, referenced the attack in a post on X, writing that “attacks on politicians are always attacks on democracy.”

While Urban said that he condemns such attacks, he also suggested that “the SPD must ask itself to what extent its constant agitation against political dissidents contributes to such escalations.”

Olaf Scholz, the Chancellor of Germany, also posted to social media about the attack, writing on X: “Attacks such as the one on MEP Matthias Ecke and other candidates threaten our democracy. We must stand together against them.”

“I wish Matthias Ecke a speedy recovery,” Scholz said.

Ecke, who is 41 years old, had to undergo emergency facial surgery, according to CNN’s affiliate ntv.

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