Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz Stabbed at Charity Event

Mayor of Gdansk Pawel Adamowicz

Mr Adamowicz has been mayor of Gdansk, a port city on the Baltic coast, since 1998.

The mayor of a city in Poland was in very serious condition after he was stabbed on stage Sunday during the finale of a large charity event, and Polish media reported details that gave the attack a political element.

Police were investigating how the attacker had been able to breach security to reach the podium, local police spokeswoman Joanna Kowalik-Kosinska told reporters. It says the mayor was seen holding his belly.

No other details were immediately available. "Civic Platform tortured me, and that's why Adamowicz is dead".

Polish president Andrzej Duda said: "Today I am unconditionally with him and his loved ones, just as I hope all of us compatriots are".

His mental state had severely deteriorated during his time in jail, reports said.

Polish media reported that a number of political officials and Gdansk Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glod went to the hospital during the operation.

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The fundraising event was organised by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, Poland's most important charity.

Police said the suspect was a 27-year-old who was recently released from prison where he had served a term for bank robberies.

Adamowicz, 53, was part of the democratic opposition formed in Gdansk under the leadership of Lech Walesa during the 1980s.

As mayor, he has been a progressive voice, supporting LGBT rights and tolerance for minorities. "Pawel, we are with you".

The stabbing, during an event that raises money for children's hospitals, has shocked Poland, the BBC's correspondent in Warsaw said.

In an unusual display of unity in Poland, messages of support for Adamowicz flowed in from politicians from different ends of the political spectrum.

At the time Law and Justice was in the opposition and Kaczynski blamed the attack at an "atmosphere of hate" under the rival party, Civic Platform.

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