Pawel Adamowicz, mayor of the Polish city of Gdańsk, was struck by a Warsaw concert for charities in front of thousands of people. The attacker, a 27-year-old man, shouted he was doing it for political reasons.

The attacker ran with a knife on the stage and stabbed Adamowicz in the heart and stomach, reports the Associated Press. Adamowicz grabbed his stomach and collapsed. He was revived and taken to a hospital, where he was operated on for five hours. One of the attending physicians told reporters he was "very serious".

The attacker, whom the police had not mentioned at the time of publication, turned to the crowd after the stab wound and said he had been illegally imprisoned under a previous national government to which Adamowicz had belonged, the AP said. "I was detained, but innocent," he said. "Civic Platform tortured me, so Adamowicz just died." The police said the suspect was recently punished for bank robbery. He got access to the stage with a media ID, police said.

Adamowicz, 53, participated in the finals of the annual Great Orchestra of Christmas charity event, which raises money for medical equipment to treat sick children.

After the doctors said Adamowicz needed a massive blood transfusion, according to Polish media, hundreds of Polish donors responded. Adamowicz needed 20 liters of blood on Monday morning. The nearby city of Lodz announced the opening of additional blood donation centers. "We urge the citizens of Lodz to donate blood," said Deputy Mayor Adam Wieczorek. "Let the blood flow from Lodz to Gdansk."

"Today I am unconditionally with him and his relatives, as well as – I hope – all of his compatriots," said Polish President Andrzej Duda Independently, "I pray for his return to health and full of strength."

According to The guard, Adamowicz is known as a strong proponent of LGBT rights and the rights and refugees. He was part of the democratic opposition founded in the 1980s under the leadership of Lech Walesa, reports the AP.

"Sometimes it's a wild country," said Jerzy Owsiak, president and founder of the charity. "Do not go this way, you can not use force to fight violence … Let's be Poles who love each other."

Copyright 2019 NPR. Further information can be found at https://www.npr.org.

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