German Police Investigate 'Attempted Murder' by Radical Leftists Targeting Officer With Explosives

Leipzig police have launched an attempted murder investigation after a policeman was severely injured on New Year's Eve.

Activists in the Connewitz district reportedly targeted officers with missiles and fireworks.

Seven men and two women were arrested on Wednesday afternoon, police said, as investigators launched a probe into possible attempted murder of a police officer.

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Police said a "group of violent criminals" had attacked them in Leipzig's alternative Connewitz district in the early hours of the morning.

Officers reported that the group, said to be leftist activists, had pelted them with stones, thrown bottles and launched fireworks at officers.

One 38-year-old policeman was said to have been so badly hurt by a firework that he lost consciousness and had to undergo surgery.

Police said they had handed the case to a special commission which investigates far-left extremism.

The nine arrested individuals were accused of causing grievous bodily harm, resisting police and serious breaches of the peace. Three other detainees were released.

Sebastian Willnow/picture alliance via Getty Image

Political condemnation

The state of Saxony's Interior Minister Roland Wöller said there had been "a conscious and targeted attack on human life."

Leipzig's Mayor Burkhard Jung described the events as a "violent outbreak of criminal violence," which he condemned "from the bottom of his heart."

Some thousand people had gathered in Connewitz on Tuesday evening to see in the New Year. Shortly after midnight, the mood turned violent and police were attacked.

The district is a stronghold of the left-wing alternative scene, and has a history of violence between activists and police.

You can read this article as it originally appears at Deutsche Welle here.

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(PHOTO: Sebastian Willnow/picture alliance via Getty Images)

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This article originally appeared at Deutsche Welle.