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Indian student attacked in Bonn

Berlin, Dec. 27 (AP): Police say an Indian student in Germany has been attacked and injured by suspected Islamic extremists who accosted him and demanded that he convert to Islam.

Police spokesperson Frank Piontek said today that two attackers in the western German city of Bonn severely beat up the 24-year-old and then slashed his tongue with a knife.

Police say the attackers walked up to the student in a city street late on Monday and demanded that he convert to Islam, then beat him up after he refused to do so.

According to the victim, he was approached by the two men who asked him what his religion was before demanding that he convert, the Der Spiegel newspaper reported. Otherwise, the men said, he was an infidel and his tongue would have to be cut out. As he tried to walk away, they attacked him from behind, the university student said.

The student, whose identity wasn’t given in line with German privacy rules, was taken to a hospital after a passerby called an ambulance. He was released a day later.

The Bonn police’s department for politically motivated crimes is investigating.

Police investigators believe the man’s story to be credible and that the incident could have been the work of Salafists, the Spiegel reported. The student had told the police the perpetrators had long beards but no moustaches. Salafists are followers of an extremist form of political Islam with roots in Saudi Arabia that has been spreading in the wake of the Arab Spring.

There were no witnesses to the attack and the police are currently searching for suspects.