Brazil's presidential candidate Bolsonaro stabbed during campaign event (DISTURBING VIDEOS)

Presidential Candidate Jair Bolsonaro Holds Campaign Rally

The run-up to a presidential election in Brazil was plunged into chaos on Friday after a knife attack on far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro put the front-runner in intensive care just a month before the vote.

Mr Bolsonaro was campaigning in the city of Juiz de Fora when he was stabbed in the abdomen as he was lifted above the crowd.

A hospital spokeswoman in the city of Juiz de Fora in Minas Gerais state, where the attack took place, confirmed to Reuters that Bolsonaro had been undergoing surgery but provided no details on his state nor his wounds.

Bolsonaro, a controversial figure in Brazilian politics, is second in the polls to former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is barred from running but who has appealed multiple times.

Cellphone footage released by local media showed the candidate sitting on a supporter's shoulders and waving to the crowd when someone plunged a knife into his abdomen.

Brazil's federal police said that they arrested a man identified as Adelio Bispo de Oliveira, 40, whom a group of people tried to lynch after accusing him of staging the attack, reports Efe news.

Authorities are investigating the state of the suspect's mental health.

He said the stab wounds reached part of Bolsonaro's liver, lung and intestines and that he arrived at the hospital "almost dead".

He could take two months to fully recover and will spend at least a week in hospital, the doctor who operated on Mr Bolsonaro said.

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In a statement, the hospital attending to Mr Bolsonaro said he was in surgery but did not elaborate.

Other candidates quickly denounced the attack.

Brazil's president Michel Temer said the attack was a "sad episode" and spoke out against intolerance in Brazilian society.

Lula, who was previously leading the opinion polls, is now serving a 12-year prison sentence for fraud related to a corruption scandal.

One of Jair Bolsonaro's key campaign messages is that he will try to turn around the growth in violent crime.

G1 quoted a lawyer for de Oliveira, Pedro Augusto Lima Possa, as saying his client did not mean to kill the politician, only wound him.

Despite being a long-serving member of congress, he has successfully presented himself as an outsider, untouched by the corruption scandals engulfing so much of the political elite.

Yet he has also courted deep controversy with comments attacking women and sexual minorities, as well as for praising the country's 1964-1985 military dictatorship.

After the attack, Brazilians surged on to social media to argue over whether the incident supports Mr Bolsonaro's assertions that the country is off the rails, or whether his heated rhetoric contributed to inciting the attack.

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