German police said on Wednesday they had foiled a murder plot by anti-vaccination activists in the state of Saxony.
The target? The eastern German state’s premier, Michael Kretschmer.
Five suspects have been arrested and are under investigation.
Protests against new restrictions on the unvaccinated and plans to make vaccinations compulsory for some groups in Germany have recently become more violent, with increased attacks on doctors, politicians and journalists.
The plot to kill Kretschmer had been discussed on Telegram by a group called “Dresden Offlinevernetzung," or Dresden offline network.
The state of Saxony, which has one of the highest rates of COVID-19 in Germany, as well as the lowest rates of vaccination, is no stranger to threats from anti-vaxxers.
In September a vaccination centre was the target of an arson attack. And in November, protesters holding lit torches gathered outside the home of the state’s interior minister.
Germany’s new chancellor Olaf Scholz has said his government will not tolerate violent protests against coronavirus restrictions.
Vaccinations will become mandatory in Germany from March next year for people working in medical practices, including hospitals and nursing homes.