Salman Rushdie taken off ventilator, able to talk

Salman Rushdie taken off ventilator, able to talk
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Author Salman Rushdie has been reportedly taken off ventilator a day after he was severely injured in an attack in the US, and is now able to talk.

The influential Indian-British author Salman Rushdie, who was stabbed as he was about to give a lecture in New York, has been taken off a ventilator and is able to talk again, a day after the attack.

Following the incident, Rushdie's agent Andrew Wylie said the novelist had suffered severed nerves in one arm, damage to his liver, and would likely lose an eye.

Hadi Matar, 24, is accused of running onto the stage and stabbing Mr Rushdie at least 10 times in the face, neck and abdomen.

Matar has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, and has been remanded in custody without bail.

Rushdie was forced into hiding for nearly 10 years after his fourth novel "The Satanic Verses" in 1988 sparked reactions and fury among many Muslims who see the novel as blasphemous.

The late Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini said the novel was an insult on Islam and the Prophet Mohammed, and issued a religious decree, calling for his assassination. A $3 million bounty on the author's head was placed.

The Iranian government announced it would no longer seek to enforce the decree in 1998.

The 75-year-old novelist, the son of a successful Muslim businessman in India, was educated in England, first at Rugby School and later at the University of Cambridge where he received an MA degree in history.