Brazil hospital officials say Bolsonaro risked death after stabbing ZlotoNews

Brazil hospital officials say Bolsonaro risked death after stabbing ZlotoNews

Brazil hospital officials say Bolsonaro risked death after stabbing ZlotoNews

The leading candidate in Brazil's presidential election, Jair Bolsonaro, was stabbed and seriously injured while campaigning, with police saying the suspect claimed to be acting on orders from God.

Mr Bolsonaro, a member of congress and a former army captain, has been criticised for outbursts deemed racist, mysogynist and homophobic.

The attack ocurred as the candidate was moving slowly through a large crowd.

His son, Flavio, said that his father was "almost dead" when he was admitted, but his condition was later reported to be stable.

With jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ruled out of the October 7 election, the latest polls from the Ibope Institute put Bolsonaro in a clear lead with 22 percent compared with 12 percent each for environmentalist Marina Silva and centre-left runner Ciro Gomes.

Bolsonaro has climbed steadily in the polls on the back of political corruption, rising crime rates across Brazil's urban areas and a well orchestrated social media campaign.

Underling Brazil's divisions, people took to Twitter to either to decry the stabbing and ask for prayers for Bolsonaro or to say the candidate had brought it upon himself and even may have staged it.

While he has a strong following, Bolsonaro is also a deeply polarizing figure.

TV images showed Bolsonaro being carried on someone's shoulders in the middle of a crushing crowd of cheering supporters on one of the city's main streets when a knife was seen raised above heads just before it plunged into the candidate's body.

Federal police confirmed to ABC News that a 40-year-old suspect in the attack that occurred in Juiz de Fora, about 125 miles north of Rio de Janeiro, had been detained. A medical team is evaluating whether Mr Bolsonaro can be transferred to another hospital in Sao Paulo.

O Globo cites a source in the campaign who described the stab wound as "superficial" and expressed optimism about Bolsonaro's ability to recover and continue campaigning.

There were signs of the deep divide in Brazil at the vigil, when Bolsonaro's supporters briefly exchanged insults with some detractors who showed up. "I think the left shot itself in the foot because with this attack they will end up electing Bolsonaro".

The former military officer is considered a far-right populist and is now leading the polls. In March, while da Silva was campaigning in southern Brazil before his imprisonment, gunshots hit buses in his caravan, although no one was hurt.

And earlier this year, Marielle Franco, a Rio city councilwoman who was an outspoken critic of police violence against slum residents, was assassinated. His vice presidential running mate is a retired general.

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