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Brazilian presidential candidate stabbed by attacker who said he was 'on a mission from God

Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed at a campaign event Thursday. (EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)

A Brazilian presidential candidate was stabbed during a campaign event Thursday, adding another level of drama and dysfunction to an already complicated race, according to Yahoo News.

Jair Bolsonaro, a right-leaning candidate and longtime congressman, reportedly arrived at the hospital "almost dead" after suffering severe internal bleeding and damage from the attack.

"Our agents there said the attacker said he was 'on a mission from God,'" said Luis Boudens, president of the National Federation of Federal Police. "Their impression is that they were not dealing with a mentally stable person. He didn't expect to be arrested so quickly; agents reacted in seconds."

What happened?

A Twitter user posted an extremely clear video of the stabbing. The video shows Bolsonaro being carried on the shoulders of supporters, when he suddenly grabs his midsection and goes down. Supporters can then be seen beating up the suspect.

Bolsonaro did have bodyguards, but the suspect was able to sneak through the crowd and take advantage of the chaotic scene and get to the candidate. He was not wearing any kind of protective gear at the time.

Bolsonaro's son, Flavio, said the injury was worse than they initially thought, and requested prayers for his recovery. He said he had been stabilized.

His doctor said he will be in intensive care for at least seven days, and will have to return for more surgery in coming months.

What about the candidate?

Bolsonaro is described as a polarizing figure in Brazil, and is considered an "outsider" candidate. Some of his more controversial stances include:

  • Derogatory statements toward black and gay people
  • An expressed fondness for Brazil's past military dictatorship
  • Saying he wants to shoot corrupt members of the left-wing Workers' Party
  • Campaigning on a promise to reduce crime by giving police more leeway to shoot and kill on duty

The Brazilian presidential election already had its fair share of controversy. Bolsonaro is second in the polls; in first is former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is currently in jail on corruption charges and has been banned from the race.

The first round of the election is Oct. 7.

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