Mayor stabbed on stage

Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz right speaks to the audience at a charity event shortly before the attack

The mayor of the northern Polish city of Gdansk is reported to be in a very serious condition after being stabbed while on stage at an event for the country's most important charity.

Pawel Adamowicz, 53, was attending a fundraising event in aid of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity which raises money for hospital medical equipment when he was attacked and stabbed several times.

The director of the hospital in Gdansk where the mayor was taken, Jakub Kraszewski, told reporters just before midnight local time (23:00 GMT) that surgery was underway.

"That's why Adamowicz dies", the attacker said.

Moments before the attack Adamowicz posted an image of the stage on Instagram, BBC News reports.

After the stabbing, the man made an apparent gesture of triumph and strutted around the stage, media reported.

Police said he was a 27-year-old with a criminal record and had carried out bank robberies.

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Earlier he boasted on Facebook that he'd raised £5,000 for the event.

He was part of the democratic opposition born in the city under the leadership of Lech Walesa during the 1980s which helped to bring down the Communist regime. "Pawel, we are with you".

Polish President Andrzej Duda said he was informed that "doctors succeeded in reanimating the heart of the seriously injured Mayor Pawel Adamowicz and there is hope, but his condition is very hard".

The mayor, who has held the position since 1998, is seen as progressive has and shown support for LGBT rights and tolerance for minorities.

The Mayor grabbed his stocmach and collapsed in front of the shocked audience at the "Lights to Heaven" fundraiser organised by the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.

He showed solidarity with the Jewish community when the city's synagogue had its windows broken a year ago, strongly denouncing the vandalism.

Also on Twitter, President Andrzej Duda said: "I pray for his return to health and full strength".

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