23rd March 2023
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BREAKING: Japan’s former leader Shinzo Abe assassinated

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Friday, July 8, 2022

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan May 25, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed dead after being shot in the city of Nara as per the latest updates.

The 67-year-old had been fighting for his life after he was shot twice by a gunman during an election speech in the morning hours of Friday.

The attacker shot Abe in the back, causing him to fall to the ground. Reports say his attacker has since been arrested.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who was taking questions from media an hour ago said Abe was in a critical condition.

Ex-Tokyo governor Yoichi Masuzoe also said in a tweet that Mr Abe was in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest, a term which is often used before a death is officially confirmed in Japan.

“Former prime minister Abe was shot at around 11:30 local time (02:30 GMT) in Nara. One man, believed to be the shooter, has been taken into custody. The condition of former prime minister Abe is currently unknown,” chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.

“Whatever the reason, such a barbaric act can never be tolerated, and we strongly condemn it.”

Videos circulating on social media, which could not be verified, appear to show paramedics huddled around Mr Abe in the middle of a street. He has now reportedly been taken to hospital.

Mr Abe was giving a stump speech for a candidate in Nara when the attack happened, and eye-witnesses say they saw a man with what they described as a large gun fire from behind.

The first shot appears to have missed but the second shot hit Mr Abe in the back and he immediately fell to the ground bleeding, reports the BBC.

Local media reports say the attacker is believed to be a former member of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force, the local equivalent of a navy.

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