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

A convicted criminal with a knife rushed on to the stage during a charity event in Gdasnk, Poland, and stabbed the city's mayor in the heart.

The fundraising event was organised by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, Poland's most important charity.

Polish president Andrzej Duda said: "Today I am unconditionally with him and his loved ones, just as I hope all of us compatriots are".

He said the coming hours would be decisive and asked for thoughts and prayers for the mayor who has served since 1998. Medical officials appealed for blood donations. Gdansk Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glod went to the hospital while the operation was underway, the internet news portal Onet reported. Civic Platform tortured me, and that's why Adamowicz is dead.' Adamowicz was a member of the pro-European Civic Platform party but left to fight local elections as an independent.

European Council President Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, wrote on Twitter: 'Let's all pray for Mayor Adamowicz.

A Polish private television broadcaster is reporting that a man has stabbed the mayor of the city of Gdansk.

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Mr Adamowicz suffered very serious abdominal injuries during the attack, said Dr Tomasz Stefaniak, director of health at the University Clinical Centre in Gdansk, early on Monday.

Adamowicz, 53, 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 the city's synagogue had its windows broken a year ago, strongly denouncing the vandalism. "A great leader of his city and a true humanitarian".

In an unusual display of unity in Poland, messages of support for Adamowicz flowed in from politicians from different ends of the political spectrum.

Police in Poland later confirmed one man had ben arrested. A second man was stabbed and injured.

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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