Polish mayor Pawel Adamowicz stabbed on stage during charity event in Gdansk

Polish mayor Pawel Adamowicz stabbed on stage during charity event in Gdansk

A Polish mayor is in a serious condition in hospital after he was stabbed on stage at a charity event.

Pawel Adamowicz, mayor of Gdansk, was attacked in front of hundreds of people in the city during an event in aid of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.

Doctors said he underwent five hours of surgery for wounds to his heart and abdomen but that “the next hours will decide everything”.

Dr Tomasz Stefaniak, from the Medical University of Gdansk, said early on Monday that “the patient is alive but is in a very serious condition.”

Mr Stefaniak appealed for Poles to offer thoughts and prayers.

The suspected attacker, a 27-year-old with a criminal record, has been arrested.

Police spokesman Mariusz Ciarka said the attacker appeared to have mental health problems and gained access to the stage with a media badge.

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The Gdansk mayor is said to be in a very serious condition

According to Polish broadcaster TVN, the suspect shouted from the stage and claimed that he had been wrongly imprisoned by the previous government.

Interior minister Joachim Brudzinski said the attack on the 53-year-old mayor was an act of “inexcusable barbarity”.

European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted a message of support, saying “let’s all pray for Mayor Adamowicz. Pawel, we are with you”.

Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, tweeted: “The attack on life and health of Pawel Adamowicz is worthy of the highest condemnation.”

Mr Adamowicz was attacked in front of hundreds of onlookers
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Mr Adamowicz was attacked in front of hundreds of onlookers

Moments before the incident, Mr Adamowicz posted a photo of the view from the stage to his Instagram account.

The picture showed audience members holding up bright white lights during the Lights To Heaven event, which raised money for medical equipment for Poland’s healthcare system.

The politician has been Gdansk’s mayor for more than 20 years and is part of the democratic opposition which started in the city under Lech Walsea in the 1980s.

He has been seen as a progressive voice in the country, supporting LGBT rights and tolerance for minority groups.

Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, said despite their political differences he was “unconditionally with him and his loved ones, just as – I hope – all of us compatriots are”.

Regarding Mr Adamowicz’s condition, he said “here is hope, but his condition is very difficult”.

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