Brazil's leading presidential candidate stabbed

Jair Bolsonaro

The frontrunner in Brazil's presidential election has been stabbed while campaigning in the state of Minas Gerais.

"His internal wounds were grave and put the patient's life at risk", Borsato said, adding that a serious challenge now would be preventing an infection that could be caused by the perforation of Bolsonaro's intestines.

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.

Video footage showed Bolsonaro atop supporters' shoulders, clutching his stomach and grimacing after the assault.

"If he'd been farther from the hospital or in a city that was unprepared, he'd probably have died", his son Eduardo, a fellow lawmaker, said by phone.

Yet rising violent crime, anger over repeated corruption scandals and an efficient social media operation have helped him build support, and he is second in the polls to ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who has been barred from running because of a criminal conviction for corruption.

In the hours following the attack in Juiz de Fora, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) north of Rio de Janeiro, Bolsonaro supporters predicted it would carry him to the presidency.

In an article a year ago calling him "Brazil's Donald Trump", The Economistdescribed Bolsonaro as a "religious nationalist and former army captain, he is anti-gay, pro-gun, and an apologist for dictators who tortured and killed Brazilians between 1964 and 1985".

The first round of the election is October 7.

After the attack, he is seen flinching and then goes out of view.

"He lost a lot of blood and arrived in hospital with 100/30 pressure, he was nearly dead", Flavio Bolsonaro said in a tweet.

Brazil's President Michel Temer commented on the attack during an event in the nation's capital, saying, "The intolerance that there's been in Brazilian society is unacceptable".

Meanwhile, on Twitter many decried the stabbing and asked for prayers for Bolsonaro, but others suggested the candidate might have brought the attack upon himself or even staged it. It took a few moments for the crowd to realize what occurred, but they quickly rushed the candidate out of the street.

Fernando Haddad, who will likely be the leftist Workers Party presidential candidate, said the stabbing was a "shame" and a "horror".

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. 'They made Bolsonaro a martyr, ' said Jonatan Valente, a student.

Also in March, Marielle Franco, a left-leaning black councilwoman in Rio de Janeiro, was shot to death along with her driver after attending an event on empowering black women.

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