Polish mayor stabbed while on stage during a charity event

Polish mayor stabbed on stage at charity event; remains in

Polish mayor stabbed on stage at charity event; remains in "very serious condition"

A Polish mayor was left fighting for his life on Sunday night after a convicted criminal stabbed him while on stage at a charity event.

Mr Adamowicz is a well-known political figure who has been mayor of Gdansk, a Baltic port city, for 20 years, our correspondent adds.

Paramedics resuscitated Pawel Adamowicz, 53, at the scene before taking him to hospital.

Adamowicz has been mayor of Gdansk since 1998.

Broadcaster TVN said the mayor could be seen holding his belly after the attack.

Police said they have detained a suspect.

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.

The incident during a charity event attended by hundreds. Credit PA
The incident during a charity event attended by hundreds. Credit PA

The incident took place at the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity event, which was attended by hundreds of people.

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

Owsiak referred to being personally depicted in a defamatory manner in an animation that ran on state TV last week and that also had anti-Semitic overtones. The broadcaster apologized after the animation triggered an outcry. After leaving Civic Platform, he was re-elected to a sixth term as an independent candidate in the fall.

He is seen as a progressive voice and has supported LGBT rights and tolerance for minorities. 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 previous year, strongly denouncing the vandalism. "Hope and pray he will recover".

Sunday's "Lights to Heaven" fundraiser, which was organised by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, the country's most important charity, was part of a national drive to raise funds for the purchase of medical equipment and featured a colourful stage set-up including lights, smoke and pyrotechnics.

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

Police in Poland later confirmed one man had ben arrested.