By News DeskNEW YORK: Salman Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after an Iranian fatwa ordered his killing, was on a ventilator and could lose an eye following a stabbing attack at a literary event...
By News Desk
NEW YORK: Salman Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after an Iranian fatwa ordered his killing, was on a ventilator and could lose an eye following a stabbing attack at a literary event in New York state Friday.
The British author of “The Satanic Verses”, which sparked fury among Muslims, had to be airlifted to hospital for emergency surgery following the attack.
His agent said in a statement obtained by The New York Times that “the news is not good.”
“Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” said agent Andrew Wylie, who added that Rushdie could not speak.
Carl LeVan, an American University politics professor attending the literary event, told AFP that the assailant had rushed onto the stage where Rushdie was seated and “stabbed him repeatedly and viciously.” Several people ran to the stage and took the suspect to the ground before a trooper present at the event arrested him. A doctor in the audience administered medical care until emergency first responders arrived.
New York state police identified the suspected attacker as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old from Fairfield, New Jersey, adding that he stabbed Rushdie in the neck as well as the abdomen.
The motive for the stabbing remains unclear. An interviewer onstage, 73-year-old Ralph Henry Reese, suffered a facial injury but has been released from hospital, police said.
Matar was born in the United States to Lebanese parents who emigrated from Yaroun, a border village in southern Lebanon, the mayor of the village, Ali Tehfe, told a US news outlet.The attack took place at the Chautauqua Institution, which hosts arts programs in a tranquil lakeside community 110 kilometers south of Buffalo city.
Jason Schmid, the county’s district attorney, said in a statement on Saturday that Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview, New Jersey, was brought before a court late on Friday on charges of attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree.
State and federal law enforcement agencies were working to understand the planning and preparation that preceded the attack and determine whether additional charges should be filed, Schmidt added.