Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro stabbed during campaign

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Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro stabbed during campaign

Jair Bolsonaro, a leading presidential candidate whose heated rhetoric has electrified some voters and angered others in a deeply polarised Brazil, was stabbed at a campaign event on Thursday and suffered serious abdominal injuries. Police said the suspected attacker was in custody.

Dr. Luiz Henrique Borsato, who performed emergency surgery, said on Thursday night that the right-wing candidate was in serious but in stable condition and would remain in intensive care for at least seven days. The first round of Brazil’s presidential election is October 7.

The doctor said the two-hour procedure stopped serious internal bleeding and repaired most of the damage from the knifing. The candidate will need further surgery within months for a part of his intestines that was temporarily fixed with a colostomy.

Numerous videos on social media showed Mr. Bolsonaro being stabbed with a knife to the lower part of his stomach while campaigning in Juiz de Fora, a city about 200 kilometers north of Rio de Janeiro.

At the moment of the attack, Mr. Bolsonaro was on the shoulders of a supporter, looking out at the crowd and giving a thumbs up with his left hand.

Police spokesman Flavio Santiago confirmed to The Associated Press that a 40-year-old Adelio Bispo de Oliveira had been arrested in connection with the incident.

De Oliveira was beaten badly by Mr. Bolsonaro’s supporters after the attack. The man was arrested in 2013 for another assault, police said.

Luis Boudens, president of the National Federation of Federal Police, told AP that the assailant appeared to be mentally disturbed.

“Our agents there said the attacker said he was ‘on a mission from God,’” Mr. Boudens reported. “Their impression is that they were not dealing with a mentally stable person. He didn’t expect to be arrested so quickly; agents reacted in seconds.”

“This episode is sad,” President Michel Temer told reporters in Brasilia. “We won’t have a rule of law if we have intolerance.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Daily Report and is published from a The Hindu.)

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