Salman Rushdie On Ventilator; Stabbed In Neck, Abdomen, May Lose One Eye

New York: Author Salman Rushdie is on ventilator after he was stabbed at least twice on stage Friday before he was about to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York.

Rushdie was on a ventilator and could not speak, his agent Andrew Wylie told the New York Times.

“Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” Wylie told the NYT. “The news is not good.”

The suspect was identified as Hadi Matar (24) from Fairview, New Jersey, State Police Troop Commander Major Eugene J Staniszewski said in a Friday evening news conference, CNN reported.

The suspect jumped onto the stage and stabbed Rushdie at least once in the neck and once in the abdomen.

Rushdie was airlifted from a field adjacent to the venue to a hospital in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The author of 14 novels was to speak at the event about the importance of the US offering asylum to writers and other artists in exile.

Henry Reese, co-founder of the Pittsburgh nonprofit City of Asylum, who was scheduled to join Rushdie, was also injured in the attack and treated for facial injury. The organisation was founded to “provide sanctuary in Pittsburgh to writers exiled under threat of persecution,” according to the Chautauqua Institution’s website, CNN reported.

The attack on Rushdie comes over 33 years after the fatwa issued against him by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

On February 14, 1989, Khomeini called for Rushdie’s execution for writing “The Satanic Verses”, which he said insulted Islam.

A $2.8-million bounty was put on the writer’s head.

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