‘News is not good’: Author Salman Rushdie on ventilator, unable to speak

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Salman Rushdie’s agent has said “the news is not good” after the author was stabbed at an event in New York state, reported BBC.

He was attacked on stage and is now on a ventilator and unable to speak, Andrew Wylie said in a statement, adding that the author, 75, may lose one eye.

Rushdie has suffered years of Islamist death threats after writing The Satanic Verses, published in 1988.

As per the report, police detained a suspect named as Hadi Matar, 24, from Fairview, New Jersey.

New York State Police said the suspect ran onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York state.

Rushdie was stabbed at least once in the neck and in the abdomen, authorities said. He was taken to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, by helicopter.

“Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” his agent said, as per the report.

No motive or charges have yet been confirmed by police, who are in the process of obtaining search warrants to examine a backpack and electronic devices found at the center.

Police told a press conference that staff and audience members had rushed the attacker and taken him to the ground, and he was then arrested. A doctor in the audience gave Rushdie first aid.

The interviewer who was with Rushdie, Henry Reese, suffered a minor head injury and was taken to a local hospital. Reese is the co-founder of a non-profit organisation that provides sanctuary to writers exiled under the threat of persecution.

Linda Abrams, an onlooker from the city of Buffalo, told The New York Times that the assailant kept trying to attack Rushdie after he was restrained.

“It took like five men to pull him away and he was still stabbing,” Abrams said. “He was just furious, furious. Like intensely strong and just fast.”

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