Poland: Mayor of Gdansk stabbed on stage during charity event

The mayor of the northern Polish city of Gdansk is reported to be in a very serious condition after being stabbed while on stage at an event for the country's most important charity.

Pawel Adamowicz was attacked with a sharp tool during the fundraising finale organized by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.

The country's interior minister, Joachim Brudzinski, said Adamowicz was hospitalized in a very serious condition.

He called the stabbing "an act of inexplicable barbarity."

Broadcaster VN24 says a suspect was detained. Other Polish media reported that a knife was used in the attack.

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Polish broadcaster TVN reported the assailant shouted from the stage that he was imprisoned under the government of Civic Platform, a party to which the mayor formerly belonged.

Peers send their prayers

European Council President Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister who co-founded Civil Platform and is from Gdansk, wrote on Twitter: "Let's all pray for Mayor Adamowicz. Pawel, we are with you."

Polish President Andrzej Duda tweeted that while he and the mayor have had political differences, "today I am unconditionally with him and his loved ones, just as - I hope - all of us compatriots are. I pray for his return to health and full strength."

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TVN24 says a suspect was detained. Other Polish media reported that a knife was used in the attack.

Adamowicz has been mayor of Gdansk, a Baltic port city, since 1998. He was part of the democratic opposition born in that city under the leadership of Lech Walesa during the 1980s.

As mayor, he is seen as a progressive voice and has supported LGBT rights and tolerance for minorities. He showed solidarity with the Jewish community when the city's synagogue had its windows broken last year, strongly denouncing the vandalism.

mm/jm (AFP, AP)

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