Salman Rushdie, in hiding for years after an Iranian fatwa ordered his killing, was on a ventilator and could lose an eye after a stabbing at a literary event in New York state on Friday.

The British author of The Satanic Verses, who has sparked anger among some Muslims, had to be airlifted to hospital for emergency surgery after the attack.

His agent said in a statement obtained by The New York Times that “the news is not very good.”

“Salman is likely to lose one eye; the nerves in his hand were severed; and his liver was injured and damaged,” said agent Andrew Wylie, who added that Rushdie was unable to speak.

Carl Levan, a politics professor at American University who attended the literary event, told AFP that the assailant rushed to the stage where Rushdie was sitting and “stabbed him repeatedly and violently.”

Several people ran onto the scene and tackled the suspect to the ground before a police officer attending the event arrested him. A doctor in the audience provided medical care until an ambulance arrived.

New York State Police identified the suspected attacker as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairfield, New Jersey, adding that he stabbed Rushdie in the neck and also in the stomach.

The motive for the stabbing remains unclear.

The interviewer on the scene, Ralph Henry Reese, 73, suffered facial injuries but was released from the hospital, police said.

The attack took place at the Chautauqua institution, which hosts arts programs in a quiet lakeside community 70 miles (110 kilometers) south of the city of Buffalo.

“Today, many of us witnessed a violent display of hatred that shook us to the core,” the Chautauqua Institute said in a statement.

Levan, a Chautauqua regular, said the suspect “tried to stab him as much as possible before he was subdued,” adding that he believed the man was “trying to kill” Rushdie.

“There were gasps of horror and panic from the crowd,” the professor said.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Author Salman Rushdie attacked on stage in New York

Source by [author_name]

Previous articleSAA could lose some key routes if it fails to meet Air Transport Board commitments – SABC News
Next articleAccording to police, the victims stole 1.3 million rand