Polish mayor stabbed on stage in front of thousands

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Mayor of Gdansk, one of Poland's largest cities, Pawel Adamowicz, has been stabbed at a charity event, Onet, the largest Polish web portal, reported on Sunday.

Pawel Adamowicz was rushed to hospital where he is said to be in a "serious condition" following the incident, which took place in front of hundreds of people during an event for the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.

"There is hope but his condition remains serious", Polish President Andrzej Duda said earlier on Twitter, adding that Adamowicz was alive but "gravely wounded".

"There is hope but his condition is very hard", he said on Twitter, calling on people to pray for Mr Adamowicz. Medical officials appealed for blood donations.

Nearly seven hours after the assault, Stefaniak told reporters that "the patient is alive" - triggering applause - but added that the mayor remained "in a very serious condition".

Gdansk Archbishop Leszek Slawoj Glodz, who was at the hospital during the surgery, said he was praying for a "miracle". 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.

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Mr Adamowicz was a well-known political figure who has been mayor of Gdansk, a Baltic port city, for 20 years, they said. "Pawel, we are with you".

The head of the charity, Jerzy Owsiak, is a liberal critic of Poland's current right-wing government.

Adamowicz, 53, was part of the democratic opposition formed in Gdansk under the leadership of Lech Walesa during the 1980s.

The mayor, who has held the position since 1998, is seen as progressive has and shown support for LGBT rights and tolerance for minorities.

He also showed solidarity with the Jewish community when the city's synagogue had its windows broken past year, strongly denouncing the vandalism.

The shocking attack, previously unheard-of in the European city, has drawn immediate condemnation, even from the mayor's biggest political rivals.

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