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Brazil presidential hopeful ´fine´ after knife attack

Right-wing presidential frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro was attacked with a knife while campaigning in Brazil on Thursday -- but escaped with just minor injuries, his son said.

By AFP
September 07, 2018

RIO DE JANEIRO: Right-wing presidential front-runner Jair Bolsonaro was attacked with a knife while campaigning in Brazil on Thursday -- but escaped with just minor injuries, his son said.

Images shared on social media and television showed Bolsonaro being carried on the shoulders of a throng of supporters before a man lunges at his stomach.

"Thank God it was barely superficial and he´s fine," Flavio Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter about the incident in Minas Gerais state, in the country´s southeast.

The apparent attacker is then grabbed by several Bolsonaro supporters before the video cuts out.

Other images show the presidential candidate being carried to safety.

Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former army captain, was taken to a nearby hospital in the town of Juiz de Fora, police said.

With jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ruled out of the October 7 election, the latest polls from the Ibope Institute put Bolsonaro in a clear lead with 22 percent compared to 12 percent each for environmentalist Marina Silva and center-left runner Ciro Gomes.

One of his campaign pledges has been to legalize the carrying of weapons in order to combat rising violent crime.

Despite being a long-serving member of Congress, he has successfully presented himself as an outsider, untouched by the corruption scandals engulfing so much of the political elite.

Yet he´s also courted controversy with comments about homosexuals, women and victims under the 1964-85 military dictatorship.

Sometimes described as Brazil´s Donald Trump, he has a huge social media following of 8.5 million people.