Freiburg′s new mayor Martin Horn attacked after election win | News | DW | 06.05.2018
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Freiburg's new mayor Martin Horn attacked after election win

The newly-elected mayor of the German city of Freiburg, Martin Horn, has been attacked while celebrating his victory. But the political upstart took it in his stride, saying: "I won't let it get me down."

On Sunday evening, a man attacked Martin Horn, the new mayor of the German city of Freiburg, just hours after the politician won the mayoral post on Sunday.

Police said the attacker's motive was unclear, but he has a history of psychological issues. Horn is not associated with any political party.

Read more: Freiburg; Shock in a near-perfect world

What happened?

  • Horn, a political newcomer, was attacked during his victory celebration in the southwest German city.
  • Police have detained the suspect, who was identified as a 54-year-old local man.
  • The 33-year-old Horn suffered a cut below his left eye and had two teeth chipped.
  • Police reportedly said the suspect was mentally unstable and had previous run-ins with the law.
  • Horn pulled a surprise victory over the incumbent Mayor Dieter Salomon, of the Green party.
Martin Horn climbing the stage in Freiburg (picture-alliance/dpa/P. Seeger)

Horn won over 44 percent of the votes, compared with Salomon's 30.7 percent

Election rival shocked

Political violence is extremely rare in Freiburg, which is known as a stronghold of progressives and environmentalists.

Dieter Salomon said he was shocked by the incident.

"I wish Martin Horn a speedy recovery," he told the Badische Zeitung. "It's bad that something like that can happen in our city."

Salomon, of the Green party, has been mayor since 2002.

Read more: City of Freiburg: Beauty and ecology

But by Monday, Horn took it in his stride. "I won't let it get me down," Horn told Germany's DPA news agency. He added that he was relieved to discover that police do not suspect a political motive behind the attack.

Attack was 'sudden'

The attacker punched Horn in front of the building where the future mayor was celebrating his victory. Police said the attack was "sudden" and said the suspect "had already drawn attention with his psychological instability in several incidents in the past."

Paramedics were called to the scene and took Horn to the hospital for a checkup.

Read more: Life sentence for murder of German student in Freiburg

Freiburg, with its population of nearly 230,000, is located near the French border and some 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the Swiss city of Basel.

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