Bruges mayor Dirk De fauw stabbed, "condition is stable"

The Bruges burgomaster Dirk De fauw has been stabbed this morning, the Bruges judicial authorities have confirmed. His condition is stable. The assailant could be apprehended.

The attack happened near his lawyer office in Bruges. Mr De fauw was hit in the neck. His son Dieter supplied some more details this afternoon: "Luckily, my father's driver was close by. He took my dad to the Sint-Jan Hospital immediately, while he was stopping the bleeding using his tie." 

Dirk De fauw underwent an operation around noon and regained consciousness this afternoon. His condition is stable. He spoke to some people already, saying he wants to get back to work as soon as possible. 

Who staged the attack and why?

Police managed to arrest a suspect soon. The man, somebody in his forties, is reportedly a client for whom De fauw manages financial matters. The man may have psychological problems. He had an appointment with Dirk De fauw at 11 a.m. When the two met, he suddenly took a kitchen knife to launch the attack, after which he fled the scene. 

What the exact motive was, is unclear. An investigation has been started into murder attempt. 

"This came as a complete surprise"

Joachim Coens, the president of De fauw's christian democrat party CD&V, has already posted a reaction on Twitter, wishing his colleague "strength and a quick recovery". He told the press agency Belga that "we were all in for a big shock, Dirk is a good mayor and an affable man. You don't expect anything like this to happen to him, since he is not a polarizing figure and the people are fond of him."