Controversial author Sir Salman Rushdie has been attacked as he was about to give a lecture in western New York.

Sir Salman, whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was being introduced on stage at the Chautauqua Institution when the incident occurred on Friday.

An Associated Press reporter witnessed a man storm the stage and begin punching or stabbing the author as he was being introduced. Sir Salman was then either taken or fell to the floor, and the man was restrained.

New York State Police investigating Salman Rushdie attack

New York State Police have confirmed they are investigating the attack. A spokesperson said: "On August 12, 2022, at about 11am, a male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Rushdie and an interviewer.

"Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck, and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital. His condition is not yet known.

"The interviewer suffered a minor head injury.

"A State Trooper assigned to the event immediately took the suspect into custody."

Sir Salman’s book The Satanic Verses has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it to be blasphemous.

A year later, Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Sir Salman’s death.