A mayor in western Germany has survived a knife attack amid suspicions of a link to his liberal immigration policy.
Andreas Hollstein, conservative mayor of Altena, was stabbed in the neck in a kebab shop and had hospital treatment.
The town in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) is well known for having accepted more than its quota of migrants.
“The security authorities believe that there was a political motive,” said NRW premier Armin Laschet. The mayor is in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party.
Witnesses quoted by German media said the assailant – now in custody – shouted criticism of the mayor’s asylum policy during the attack.
In a tweet, Mrs Merkel condemned the attack. “I am outraged by the knife attack on Mayor Andreas Hollstein, and very relieved that he is able to be back with his family. Thanks also to those who helped him,” she said.
The poor performance of her Christian Democrats in the September general election has been attributed largely to criticism of her liberal immigration policy, summed up by her motto “we can manage”.
She accepted more than a million asylum seekers – many of them Muslims – during Europe’s 2015-2016 migrant crisis.