Japan ex PM Shinzo Abe shot at during campaign speech, wounded

Published on Jul 08, 2022 08:22 AM IST

Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that Abe was found bleeding after he collapsed while campaigning in city of Nara.

Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.(AFP)
Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.(AFP)

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has reportedly collapsed in Nara, western Japan, and shots were heard in the vicinity. Abe is showing no vital signs after the attack, news agency AFP reported citing local media.

According to Japanese public broadcaster NHK, Abe was seen bleeding and the reporter present at the site “heard something that sounded like a gunshot.”

"A local fire department says former prime minister Abe appears to be in a state of cardio-respiratory arrest," public broadcaster NHK said, a term used in Japan before a feared death can be confirmed by a doctor.

Abe was attacked by a man from behind while he was making a stump speech on a street in Nara on Friday, according to the Japan Times.

A young woman at the scene told NHK that the "first shot sounded like a toy" but Abe "didn't fall and there was a large bang," reported AFP. The witness added that the "second shot was more visible, you could see the spark and smoke."

"After the second shot, people surrounded him and gave him cardiac massage."

Police said they have arrested the man for attempted murder and are questioning him, NHK reported. The man appeared to be in his 40s and a gun has been confiscated, said public broadcaster NHK, citing police officials aware of the matter. Local police are yet to make an official statement on the incident.

Abe stepped down as prime minister in 2020 due to resurfacing of chronic health problem. The former Japan PM has had ulcerative colitis since he was a teenager and has said the condition was controlled with treatment.

(With inputs from AFP, AP and local media reports)

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