Salman Rushdie on ventilator after stabbing...

Salman Rushdie on ventilator after stabbing

 International Desk

 Published: 09:38 AM, 13 August 2022   Updated: 02:41 PM, 13 August 2022

British author Salman Rushdie

British author Salman Rushdie

British author Salman Rushdie, whose writings have made him the target of Iranian death threats, was on a ventilator and could lose an eye after he was repeatedly stabbed at a literary event in New York state Friday.

Following the attack just before 11:00am local time Rushdie was airlifted to the hospital where he needed emergency surgery, and 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 as of now Rushdie cannot speak.

police identified the suspect involved in the attack as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old from Fairfield, New Jersey.

New York State Police Major Eugene Staniszewski told reporters on Friday afternoon that officials do not have “any indication of a motive” at this “very early” stage of the investigation. They said they believed that Matar was acting alone.

Stacey Schlosser, who witnessed the attack, told the Associated Press news agency that Rushdie was stabbed six to eight times before the attacker was restrained.

“Nobody knew what to do. Nobody knew how to react. I mean, there were tons of people that rushed the stage,” Schlosser said.

“A man jumped up on the stage from I don’t know where and started what looked like beating him on the chest, repeated fist strokes into his chest and neck,” said Bradley Fisher, who was in the audience. People were screaming and crying out and gasping.

Stunned attendees helped pull the man off Rushdie, who had fallen to the floor. A New York State Police trooper providing security at the event arrested the attacker, while a doctor in the audience helped look after Rushdie until emergency services arrived.