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Author Salman Rushdie stabbed in attack onstage in New York

The prize-winning author, whose work made him a target of death threats in Iran in the 1980s, was attacked onstage by a man while giving a lecture in New York.
/ Source: TODAY

Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie, whose book "The Satanic Verses" made him a target of death threats by Iran in the 1980s, was stabbed in the neck by a man who attacked him onstage Friday, Aug. 12 as he was getting set to give a lecture in New York, police said.

Rushdie, 75, fell to the floor while the man was restrained, according to a reporter for The Associated Press who witnessed the scene first-hand and was the first to report the attack.

The New York State Police said in a news release Friday that they are investigating an attack that occurred at about 11 a.m. when " a male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer." Rushdie suffered "an apparent stab wound to the neck," police said.

A state trooper who was assigned to the event took the man into custody, police said.

Rushdie was transported by helicopter to an area hospital and his condition is not known, police said. The interviewer suffered a minor head injury, according to police.

NBC News has reached out to Rushdie’s representatives.

The attack occurred at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua in rural New York, about 55 miles southwest of Buffalo, police said.

Rushdie and his family spent nearly a decade living underground due to a fatwa, or edict, issued in 1989 by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini that called for his death over the novel, “The Satanic Verses,” which Iran considered blasphemous to Islam.

A bounty of $3.3 million has also been put on Rushdie's head by an Iranian religious organization for anyone who kills him, according to The Associated Press.

He wrote about his time in hiding in his 2012 book, "Joseph Anton: A Memoir." Rushdie used that name as an alias when he was in hiding.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.