Masked attackers carve swastika into Austrian's forehead

Masked attackers carve swastika into Austrian's forehead
A Nazi swastika banner hangs on the facade of the Prefecture Palace in Nice which is being used as part of a movie set during the filming of a WWII film in the old city of Nice, France, September 29, 2015.
PHOTO: Reuters, AFP

VIENNA - A man is in custody in Austria after he and three accomplices assaulted a cyclist and carved a swastika into his forehead, prosecutors said Thursday.

The victim had been cycling through the town of Bad Fischau-Brunn, south of Vienna, when the masked suspects pushed him to the ground, beat him and attacked him with a knife, said Erich Habitzl, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office.

"It looks like the victim knew his attackers and the reason behind the attack was to force him and his family to move out of their home by mid-October," he told AFP.

The main suspect is facing charges of assault and re-engagement in National Socialist activities over the incident late last month, while his accomplices were "known to police" but have not been detained, Habitzl said.

He stressed it was not yet clear whether those involved in the incident had links to far-right groups.

The attack is reminiscent of US film director Quentin Tarantino's movie "Inglorious Basterds", in which a group of Jewish American soldiers punish Nazis by carving swastikas into their foreheads during World War II.

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