Jair Bolsonaro: Brazil's far-right presidential hopeful stabbed at campaign event

Jair Bolsonaro: Brazil's far-right presidential hopeful stabbed at campaign event

Jair Bolsonaro: Brazil's far-right presidential hopeful stabbed at campaign event

Moments before Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed during a campaign rally in Juiz de Fora, Brazil.

The leading candidate in Brazil's presidential election is in serious but stable condition after being stabbed by an assailant at a campaign rally on Thursday, doctors said, pushing an already chaotic campaign into further disarray.

But Flavio Bolsonaro, the candidate's son, said earlier on Friday outside the hospital where his father was that the attack was a political boost. He was carried by his supporters to a auto, clutching his side.

Police said that the suspect in the attack was arrested - he was mentally unstable 40-year-old Adele Obispo de Oliveira, who stated that "God told" him to stab, Bolsonaro. G1 quoted a lawyer for de Oliveira, Pedro Augusto Lima Possa, as saying his client did not mean to kill the politician, only wound him.

He is also now second in Brazil's presidential polls, trailing only former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who is in jail and has been barred from running for another term.

Bolsonaro is running on a tough-on-crime platform and has advocated for looser restrictions on gun ownership in Brazil.

Bolsonaro, knows as "The Brazilian Trump", was being carried on the shoulders of a supporter when he was attacked, authorities said.

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Bolsonaro, 63, suffered intestinal damage and serious internal bleeding, said Dr. Luiz Henrique Borsato, one of the surgeons who operated on the candidate.

President Michel Temer quickly condemned the attack and instructed his Minister of Security Raul Jungmann to reinforce security for candidates and conduct "a rigorous investigation", a spokesman for the presidency told AFP. "His condition now seems stabilized".

He is undergoing surgery, according to a statement from the local hospital where he was admitted.

Bolsonaro is described as a polarizing figure in Brazil, and is considered an "outsider" candidate. He has been fined, and even faced charges, for derogatory statements toward women, blacks and gays.

"I just want to send a message to the thugs who tried to ruin the life of a family man, a guy who is the hope for millions of Brazilians: You just elected him president".

This is not the first time in recent months that violence has touched politicians.

Mr Bolsonaro has caused outrage among some in Brazil with a number of racist and homophobic comments; as well has his praise for the former 1964-1985 military dictatorship, which was responsible for widespread torture and human rights abuses. His vice presidential running mate is a retired general. In March, while da Silva was campaigning in southern Brazil before his imprisonment, gunshots hit buses in his caravan, although no one was hurt.

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