c994d02922b4f232d0dcff70499775a7084fa52a Author of "The Satanic Verses" Writer Salman Rushdie stabbed in the neck in New York
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Author of "The Satanic Verses" Writer Salman Rushdie stabbed in the neck in New York

Author of "The Satanic Verses" Writer Salman Rushdie stabbed in the neck in New York

Salman Rushdie, the writer who for decades had been threatened with death by the Iranian regime and for whom they offered 3 million dollars for his head, was stabbed this Friday in the neck and abdomen when he was about to offer a conference at a literary festival in western New York.

The famous Anglo-Indian author, 75, is on a ventilator, has nerves in his arm severed, a damaged liver and is at risk of losing an eye, his agent told The New York Times. 

According to state police, whose account was confirmed by dozens of witnesses at the scene, around 11 a.m. local time, Rushdie was preparing to be interviewed in a 4,000-capacity amphitheater at the Chautauqua Institute in the town of the same name about 75 kilometers south of Buffalo.

As he was onstage, a man dressed in black rushed out of the audience with a knife and lunged at Rushdie, stabbing him in the neck and abdomen. 

The attacker was quickly caught by a security agent and by several spectators who came on stage to control him and ended up being arrested by a state agent assigned to the event. 

Amidst the chaos and terrifying screams that filled the amphitheater, the writer was led behind a stage screen and attended by a doctor who was in the audience.

The assailant, according to a witness told The Washington Post, had blood on his hands and had also managed to slightly injure the interviewer, Henry Reese, on the head. 

Rushdie was airlifted to an area hospital. While he was on the stretcher he was seen conscious, holding his neck. His condition is not yet officially known but it turned out that he underwent surgery. 

Photo AP 

His agent, Andrew Wylie, told The New York Times that Rushdie was on a ventilator. "The news is not good," he wrote in an email to the newspaper late in the afternoon. "Salman could lose an eye, the nerves in his arm were severed and his liver was stabbed and damaged."

The attacker was later identified by a police spokesman as Hadi Matar, 24, of New Jersey, although his motives were not disclosed. The first investigations suggest that the aggressor acted alone and that he could have sympathies with the Iranian regime and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard. They also stated that he had permission to access the writer's event. 

Photo AP 

The first to report the attack was a journalist from the AP agency present at the scene and later several videos of attendees emerged that were uploaded to social networks.

Satanic Verses 

Rushdie achieved international fame with his novel Midnight's Children, published in 1980, which earned him the prestigious British Booker Prize. But his figure was later enlarged with the publication of "The Satanic Verses", which was banned in Iran in 1988, as many Muslims consider it blasphemous. A year later, the then leader of Iran, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie's death.

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