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Agent says Rushdie on ‘road to recovery’ after stabbing

Salman Rushdie is loaded onto a medical evacuation helicopter near the Chautauqua Institution after being stabbed multiple times while speaking on stage in New York state

Salman Rushdie is on the “road to recovery,” his agent said Sunday, two days after a shocking assault at a literary event left the British author hospitalized on a ventilator with multiple stab wounds. 

“He’s off the ventilator, so the road to recovery has begun,” Andrew Wylie said in a statement sent to multiple media outlets.

The agent said earlier that Rushdie might lose an eye; he also suffered injuries to the abdomen.

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“Though his life-changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty and defiant sense of humour remains intact,” Zafar Rushdie said in a statement.

The suspected assailant, Hadi Matar, 24, was wrestled to the ground by staff and other audience members before being taken into police custody.

– Questions surround suspect –

Matar’s family appears to come from the village of Yaroun in southern Lebanon, though he was born in the United States, according to a Lebanese official.

Journalists who approached his father’s home were turned away.

The fatwa followed the publication of Rushdie’s novel “The Satanic Verses,” which enraged some Muslims who said it was blasphemous.

In a recent interview with Germany’s Stern magazine, Rushdie had spoken of how, after so many years living with death threats, his life was “getting back to normal.”

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“But ever since I’ve been living in America, since the year 2000, really there hasn’t been a problem in all that time.”

Security was not particularly tight at Friday’s event at the Chautauqua Institution, which hosts arts programs in a tranquil lakeside community near the city of Buffalo.

US President Joe Biden on Saturday called it a “vicious” attack and praised Rushdie for “his refusal to be intimidated or silenced.” British leader Boris Johnson said he was “appalled.”

Matar is being held without bail and has been formally charged with second-degree attempted murder and assault with a weapon.

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