Gdansk mayor 'stabbed on stage' by attacker

Gdansk's Mayor Pawel Adamowicz speaks with people as he collects money for the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity in Gdansk Poland

The mayor of the Polish city of Gdansk is in serious condition after he was stabbed in the heart and stomach by a man who rushed on stage during an open-air charity event Sunday, a press officer at Gdansk City Hall told CNN.

Mr Adamowicz later underwent surgery, deputy mayor Piotry Grzelak, was quoted as saying by the PAP news agency.

Pawel Adamowicz, mayor of the port city of Gdansk, was attacked with a sharp tool during a fundraising event in the city tonight.

One of the surgeons, Dr. Tomasz Stefaniak, said Adamowicz was in "very, very serious condition" after he suffered a "serious wound to the heart, a wound to the diaphragm and to the internal organs".

"The next hours will decide everything", Stefaniak said, appealing for thoughts and prayers for the popular mayor. On Sunday night, Gdańsk's regional centre for blood donation and blood medicine made an appeal on social media for blood donations from group 0 RhD negative. More than five hours after the attack there were no updates on his condition.

Gdansk is one of Poland's largest cities, on the country's Baltic coast, with a population of around 570,000. Other Polish media reported that a knife was used in the attack. After the attack, the assailant told the crowd that he blamed Adamowicz's former political party for his jailing in 2014 for a series of violent attacks.

The president of the European Council Donald Tusk tweeted a message of support, writing: 'We are with you'.

Adamowicz was part of the democratic opposition formed in Gdansk under the leadership of Lech Walesa during the 1980s. He marched in last year's gay pride parade, a rare action for a mayor in Poland. He showed solidarity with the Jewish community when Gdansk synagogue had its windows broken past year, strongly denouncing the vandalism. "Hope and pray he will recover".

Adamowicz has always been considered a hate figure in far-right circles for his vigorous defence of migrants and LGBT rights, but no evidence has emerged that the attack was politically motivated. "Sending best wishes for his swift recovery, and solidarity to the city he leads, his family and supporters".

The animation showed Owsiak as a clay figure being manipulated by a leading Civic Platform official who seized piles of cash that he collected, apparently suggesting the charity was a ruse to raise money for the opposition party.

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