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14-year-old South Korean boy, who attacked lawmaker, Bae Hyun-jin, sent to a mental health facility

An assailant who repeatedly struck a South Korean lawmaker with a rock as she tried to resist was a 14-year-old boy who was sent to a mental health facility on Friday, Seoul police said as they continue to investigate the attack.

The attack on Thursday on Bae Hyun-jin, a member of the conservative ruling party, came just weeks after a man stabbed opposition leader Lee Jae-myung in the neck, and it raised further concerns about the toxic discourse around the country’s intensely polarised politics.

Bae was treated for cuts. Doctors said she avoided serious injury.

Police investigators who interviewed the middle-schooler suspect in the presence of his parents sent him to a hospital early on Friday, where they plan to continue investigating him, said Cheon Young-gil, an official at Seoul’s Gangnam district police station.

Cheon refused to discuss the health details of the suspect, who was detained at the scene following the attack Thursday afternoon at a building in southern Seoul. South Korean media, citing anonymous acquaintances of the boy, reported that he had been receiving treatment for depression.

“The emergency admission was based on consideration of the suspect’s age and his health condition,” Cheon said, without elaborating. He said the police could seek to extend the boy’s admission at the hospital after the initial three days if his parents agree.

Police also interviewed Bae on Friday at the Soon Chun Hyang University Seoul Hospital, where she continued to receive treatment. Bae’s office released photos of her blood-splattered coat and jumper, which were reportedly presented to the police as evidence.

The motive of the attack wasn’t immediately clear.

“Our politics have lost their way. We have all talked about the need