Matthias Ecke, a leading candidate for the Social Democratic Party in the upcoming European elections, was violently attacked and seriously injured by a group of young men on Friday evening as he put up campaign posters in Dresden.

Matthias Ecke, one of the leading candidates of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in the upcoming European elections, was brutally attacked and seriously injured on Friday evening as he put up campaign posters in Dresden, Saxony.

Initial media reports suggested a group of young men were behind the attack, which took place around 10 p.m. A spokesperson for the SPD told the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Ecke had to undergo emergency surgery because of the injuries he sustained.

Other groups of campaign officials were also reportedly threatened and insulted on Friday evening. Police say a 28-year-old man who was putting up posters for The Greens was attacked and injured by four people shortly before the attack on Ecke. Authorities believe both attacks were carried out by the same group.