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The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was recovering from surgery Thursday after being slashed on his face and arm in Seoul on Thursday by a blade-wielding activist opposed to ongoing US-Korean military drills. The United States condemned the "act of violence" which left the ambassador bleeding profusely and saw him rushed to hospital where his condition was described as stable after two-and-a-half hours of treatment by plastic and orthopaedic surgeons. Witnesses described how a man armed with a 25-centimetre (10-inch) paring knife had lunged across a table and attacked Lippert at a breakfast function in central Seoul. He was a known political activist who had been handed a two-year suspended sentence in 2010 for throwing a rock at the then Japanese ambassador to Seoul.