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A man got into an argument with a stranger on an East Village street before slugging him in the face and fracturing his skull, cops said.

The victim, 60, was nearly knocked unconscious when he slammed his head on the sidewalk after he was attacked on 1st Avenue near East 12th Street at about 2:50 p.m. Wednesday, according to police.

The victim also suffered a fractured orbital bone and brain swelling, police said.

He is listed in critical condition at Bellevue Hospital, authorities said.

It was not immediately clear what led to the dispute between the two men.

Police said it appears they do not know each other.

The still-at-large suspect fled on foot. He was last seen heading west on East 14th Street near 1st Avenue.

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