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Rushdie lost sight in eye, use of hand in attack: agent

Author Salman Rushdie lost vision in one eye and was left “incapacitated” in a hand after he was stabbed in the United States in August, his agent said in an interview published this weekend.

The 75-year-old writer, who had received several death threats after the publication of his “The Satanic Verses”, was stabbed several times in the neck and abdomen before he was due to give a talk in the state of New York.

Rushdie was then air-lifted to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery but his condition had improved in the weeks after.

“He’s lost the sight of one eye… He had three serious wounds in his neck. One hand is incapacitated because the nerves in his arm were cut. And he has about 15 more wounds in his chest and torso,” Andrew Wylie told Spanish daily El Pais, providing an update on Rushdie’s health.

The injuries “were profound… it was a brutal attack”, Wylie added.

He would not give any information about the writer’s whereabouts, or whether he was still in hospital, but said: “He’s going to live.”

The British author had lived in hiding for years after Iran’s first supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ordered his killing for what he deemed the blasphemous nature of “The Satanic Verses”.

The main suspect, Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old from New Jersey with roots in Lebanon, was arrested immediately after the attack on Rushdie and he then pleaded not guilty during a hearing in New York state in mid-August.

The attack sparked outrage in the West but was praised by extremists in Muslim countries like Iran and Pakistan.