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Salman Rushdie's agent has said "the news is not good" after the author was stabbed at an event in New York state.
He was attacked on stage, and is now on a ventilator and unable to speak, Andrew Wylie said in a statement, adding that the author, 75, may lose one eye.
Mr Rushdie has suffered years of Islamist death threats after writing The Satanic Verses, published in 1988.
Police detained a suspect named as Hadi Matar, 24, from Fairview, New Jersey.
New York State Police said the suspect ran onto the stage and attacked Mr Rushdie and an interviewer at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York state.
Mr Rushdie was stabbed at least once in the neck and in the abdomen, authorities said. He was taken to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, by helicopter.
"Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged," his agent said.
No motive or charges have yet been confirmed by police, who are in the process of obtaining search warrants to examine a backpack and electronic devices found at the centre.
Police told a press conference that staff and audience members had rushed the attacker and took him to the ground, and he was then arrested. A doctor in the audience gave Mr Rushdie first aid.
The interviewer who was with Mr Rushdie, Henry Reese, suffered a minor head injury and was taken to a local hospital. Mr Reese is the co-founder of a non-profit organisation that provides sanctuary to writers exiled under threat of persecution.
Who is Salman Rushdie? The writer who emerged from hiding
Over a literary career spanning five decades, Sir Salman Rushdie has been no stranger to death threats arising due to the nature of his work.
The novelist is one of the most celebrated and successful British authors of all time, with his second novel, Midnight's Children, winning the illustrious Booker Prize in 1981.
But it was his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, published in 1988, which became his most controversial work - bringing about international turmoil unprecedented in its scale.
In the Islamic world, many Muslims reacted with fury to the book's publication, arguing that the portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad was a grave insult to their faith.
Death threats were made against Rushdie, 75, who was forced to go into hiding, and the British government placed him under police protection.
Iran quickly broke off relations with the UK in protest and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa - or decree - calling for the novelist's assassination in 1989 - the year after the book's publication.
But in the West, authors and intellectuals denounced the threat to freedom of expression posed by the violent reaction to the book.
Iran has "categorically" denied any link with Salman Rushdie's attacker - instead blaming the writer himself.
Mr Rushdie, 75, was left severely injured after being stabbed on stage at an event in New York state. He is now able to breathe unaided.
He has faced years of death threats for his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken accused Iran's state media of gloating about the attack, calling its behaviour "despicable".
Iranian media have extensively commented on the attack, calling it "divine retribution".
Iran's state broadcaster daily Jaam-e Jam highlighted the news that Rushdie might lose an eye following the attack, saying "an eye of the Satan has been blinded".
As news emerged of Friday's attack, eyes turned to Tehran where the fatwa - religious edict - calling for the writer's assassination was first issued more than three decades ago.
But on Monday, Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani - giving the country's first official reaction - said Tehran "categorically" denied any link, adding "no-one has the right to accuse the Islamic Republic of Iran".
However, he said freedom of speech did not justify Mr Rushdie insulting religion in his writing.
"In this attack, we do not consider anyone other than Salman Rushdie and his supporters worthy of blame and even condemnation," the spokesman said during his weekly press conference in Tehran.
"By insulting the sacred matters of Islam and crossing the red lines of more than 1.5 billion Muslims and all followers of the divine religions, Salman Rushdie has exposed himself to the anger and rage of the people."
The man accused of stabbing Sir Salman Rushdie has reportedly said he has only read two pages of the author's controversial novel The Satanic Verses.
Hadi Matar, 24, has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the assault at an event in New York last week.
In an interview with the New York Post from jail, Mr Matar said Sir Salman was "someone who attacked Islam".
But he did not confirm that his alleged actions were driven by a fatwa issued by Iran in the 1980s.
Mr Matar is currently being held at Chautauqua County Jail, in New York state.
Sir Salman published his famous and controversial novel The Satanic Verses in 1988, sparking outrage among some Muslims, who considered its content to be blasphemous.
The book's release prompted the Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa, or edict, calling for the writer's death in 1989.
Mr Matar told the New York Post he had only read "a couple of pages" of the book and did not say whether the fatwa had inspired him.
"I respect the Ayatollah. I think he's a great person. That's as far as I will say about that," he said.
Mr Matar also told the newspaper he was "surprised" to hear that Sir Salman had survived the attack.
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