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France: Hervé Breuil, Le Pen's candidate for Parliament, was attacked by masked "far-left" assailants in Saint Etienne

The 70-year-old politician had to be hospitalized after being kicked by the masked attackers.

Hervé Breuil

(Facebook-Hervé Breuil)

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Hervé Breuil, candidate of the National Rally party (RN) led by Marine Le Pen, was hospitalized after suffering a violent attack in the city of Saint Étienne, in Loire. The attackers, described as a group of masked people dressed in black, ambushed Breuil and other RN activists.

According to witnesses, the attackers pushed, insulted and even threw “projectiles” such as rotten fruit, water and flour at Breuil and four nationalist party activists. They were shopping at a market in preparation for France's parliamentary elections.

French radio station TF1 reported that, during the attack, Breuil, 70 years old and with a pacemaker, was kicked. The stress and physical impact of the encounter was so severe that Breuil suffered a stroke and was hospitalized.

Ongoing investigation

The police have already launched an investigation to identify and capture those responsible for the attack. The description of the attackers as masked people wearing black matches the well-known tactics of the radical left, who seek to avoid being identified by authorities.

Marine Le Pen's reaction

Marine Le Pen, RN leader and President Emmanuel Macron's main rival, strongly condemned the attack. In statements to the press, Le Pen said they were: “Cowardly attacked by the ultra-left militias. An electoral campaign in a democracy cannot allow this unleashing of ultra-violence from an extreme left ready to do anything to sow chaos. We send him our friendly support and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Context of political violence

The attack on Hervé Breuil in Saint Étienne joins a series of violent incidents against politicians in Europe in recent weeks. In Germany, several people were stabbed during a political demonstration, resulting in the death of a police officer. In Slovakia, an activist shot the prime minister in June, motivated by perceived insufficient military support for Ukraine. Likewise, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was recently attacked in a market in Kultorvet, in Copenhagen's old town.

These incidents highlight a worrying rise in political violence in Europe, which threatens to destabilize democratic processes and create a climate of fear and intimidation among candidates and their supporters.