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Far-right candidate assaulted during French election campaign

21/6/2024 18:15
        Black-clad attackers have beaten up a far-right candidate on the campaign trail ahead of France's snap parliamentary election, police said, echoing violence against politicians in Germany and elsewhere in Europe as the political atmosphere coarsens.
        
        Herve Breuil, a candidate for Marine Le Pen's National Rally (RN) party, was assaulted as he campaigned in the industrial town of Saint Etienne, near Lyon, in central France.
        
        His assailants wore black and masked their faces, spokespeople for the police and local authority said. He was hospitalised following the assault but was due to be released soon, they added.
        
        Attacks against political figures -- the majority of them mayors and local councillors -- have risen steadily in France.
        
        There were 2,387 physical and verbal attacks in the first nine months of 2023, compared to 2,265 for the whole of 2022, when incidents rose by a third compared to 2021, the latest interior ministry data shows.
        
        Le Pen blamed what she called "far-left extremists" for the attack against Breuil.
        



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