Pawel Adamowicz: the mayor of Gdansk stabbed at a charity event • Good Non profit

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An ambulance that would transport the mayor of Gdansk Pawel Adamowicz on the way to the hospitalCopyright of the image
EPA

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The mayor was stabbed while he was on stage at a major charity event

The mayor of the Polish city of Gdansk was seriously injured after being stabbed on stage at the country's biggest charity event, officials said.

Pawel Adamowicz, 53, was rushed to hospital where he is in critical condition after five hours of operation.

The 27-year-old suspect, who has a criminal record, was arrested.

He shouted that he had been improperly imprisoned under the previous party government that had supported Mr. Adamowicz's re-election.

Mr. Adamowicz suffered very serious injuries to the abdomen during the attack, said Monday Dr. Tomasz Stefaniak, director of health at the Gdansk University Clinical Center.

During a five-hour operation, the mayor received 41 units of blood.

"He remains in a very, very serious state," said Dr. Stefaniak. "The next few hours will be decisive."

What do we know about the attack?

The incident took place at the closing of the annual Big Christmas Charity Orchestra event, attended by hundreds of people.

Television footage showed the suspect, recently released from prison, shouting "Adamowicz is dead" and claiming that he had been tortured in prison.

Polish media originally reported that he had access to the scene with a badge, but this has not been officially confirmed.

Copyright of the image
Reuters

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Mayor Adamowicz speaking during the event preceding the attack

Polish President Andrzej Duda said he was informed that "the doctors have managed to revive the heart of the badly wounded mayor".

"There is hope but its condition is very difficult" he said on Twitter, calling people to pray for Mr. Adamowicz.

What was the reaction?

The knife attack, at an event that helped raise money for children's hospitals, shocked Poland, reported Adam Easton of the BBC in Warsaw.

Mr Adamowicz is a well-known politician who has been mayor of Gdansk, a Baltic port city, for 20 years, our correspondent added.

Moments before the attack, he posted on his Instagram account a photo of the stadium of the event, where dozens of people had white lights.

The popular mayor, a former member of the main opposition party of the Polish Civic Platform, is perceived as a liberal voice and defended the rights of minorities.

Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski said the attack was "an inexplicable act of barbarism".

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Twitter: "The attack on Paul Adamowicz's life and health is worthy of the highest conviction."

Copyright of the image
EPA

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People gathered in front of the hospital where the mayor is being treated