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Noted Writer Is Stabbed at Book Reading in Beijing, China

The New York Times reported that a prominent writer, famous for his provocative antiestablishment Web postings, was stabbed and wounded during a book reading on Saturday.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/16/world/asia/16china.html?_r=1&ref=world

The writer, Xu Lai, was approached in a bathroom by two men who stabbed him in the stomach. They then threatened to amputate Lai's hand before fleeing the scene said friends and fellow bloggers who posted the news on the Internet.

Some people believe the attack may have been triggered by Lai's writings, many of which criticize government corruption and make fun of the ruling Communist party.

Lai's blog, ProState in Flames, was carried by Bullog, a liberal Web site, until the government closed it down last month.

The editor of Xu Lai's articles of The Beijing News, Xiao Sanlang, said Lai remained in the hospital on Sunday, but is not suffering from life-threatening wounds.

According to TimesOnline (UK News), the writer behind Pro-State in Flames, was attacked while speaking at the One Way Street bookshop in Beijing on Saturday afternoon.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article5739768.ece

His wife said that two men forcibly led Lai into the men's toilet. She chased after them finding one of the suspects holding a vegetable knife, while the other had a dagger.

The men fled the scene leaving Lai on the ground with a cut to his stomach. Lai is recovering in the hospital.

Blogs remain the most important channel of communication for self-expression in China.

A witness said they heard one of his attackers say,"You brought this on yourself. You know why we're doing this, don't you?"

Best known for his sarcastic style in commenting on social and political issues, Lai is an editor of the popular Beijing Newsdaily.

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