A Polish mayor is in a serious condition after being stabbed on stage during a charity event.
Pawel Adamowicz, the mayor of Gdansk, was rushed to hospital after being attacked with a sharp tool around 7pm on Sunday.
The 53-year-old had been on stage at the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, Poland’s most important charity.
Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski said Adamowicz was sent to hospital in a very serious condition, describing the attack as “an act of inexplicable barbarity”.
A suspect was arrested at the scene, he added.
Adamowicz has been mayor of Gdansk since 1998. He was said to have been holding his stomach after the attack.
Broadcaster TVN reported the assailant shouted from the stage that he was imprisoned under the government of Civic Platform, a party to which the mayor formerly belonged, despite being innocent.
European Council President Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister who is from Gdansk, wrote on Twitter: “Let’s all pray for Mayor Adamowicz. Pawel, we are with you.”
Adamowicz has been mayor of Gdansk, a Baltic port city, since 1998. He was part of the democratic opposition born in that city under the leadership of Lech Walesa during the 1980s.
As mayor, he is seen as a progressive voice and has supported LGBT rights and tolerance for minorities. He showed solidarity with the Jewish community when the city’s synagogue had its windows broken last year, strongly denouncing the vandalism.
Gdansk is one of Poland’s largest cities, on the country’s Baltic coast, with a population of around 570,000.