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pawel adamowicz

Polish mayor Pawel Adamowicz has died in hospital, a day after being stabbed at a charity event in his city, Gdansk.

The 53-year-old was attacked on stage in front of hundreds of people on January 13.

Pawel Adamowicz was taken to hospital for stab injuries and underwent five hours of surgery at a local hospital.

Doctors said the victim sustained injuries to his heart, as well as cuts to his diaphragm and abdomen.

Surgeons said he was given 41 units of blood during a five-hour operation on January 13.

After news of the severity of his condition broke, local residents queued at the hospital to donate blood.

Polish media say the suspect is a 27-year-old with a criminal record named Stefan – but his full identity has so far been withheld.

Police believe the suspect used a media pass to gain access to the stage.

On January 14, Poland’s health minister confirmed Pawel Adamowicz had died.

Thousands attended vigils across Polish cities, including in Gdansk.

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda described the attack as an “evil hard to imagine”.

He said the day of Pawel Adamowicz’s funeral would be observed as a day of national mourning.

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The mayor was stabbed while attending the Great Orchestra of Christmas charity – an annual event where volunteers raise money for medical equipment in hospitals.

Moments before he was attacked, Pawel Adamowicz posted a picture from the stage on Instagram.

TV footage from the event showed the suspect rushing the stage and stabbing the mayor several times.

He then shouted to the crowd before being tackled to the ground and arrested.

Paramedics tried to resuscitate Pawel Adamowicz at the scene, before transferring him to a hospital.

A police spokesman said the suspect had a long criminal history, including a bank robbery and an attack on a police officer.

Police also confirmed that he was released from prison late last year.

While on stage, the suspect reportedly shouted “Adamowicz is dead” and said the Civic Platform party, which led the previous government and had supported Pawel Adamowicz’s re-election, had wrongfully imprisoned him.

He also alleged he had been tortured behind bars.

The suspect will undergo psychological assessment to see whether he can be held criminally responsible for the attack, prosecutor Krzysztof Sierak said at a press conference on January 30.

Mayor Pawel Adamowicz was a popular figure – known best for his liberal political views and extensive tenure as mayor.

The father-of-two was from Gdansk and had held the position for two decades.

Pawel Adamowicz first came to power in 1998 – and had been re-elected four times since, including in November.