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Shinzo Abe, former Japan PM, shows no vital signs after being shot at: report - DSN

Shinzo Abe, former Japan PM, shows no vital signs after being shot at: report - DSN

Shinzo Abe, former Japan PM, shows no vital signs after being shot at: report - DSN : Former Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot at on Friday in Nara while campaigning for the upcoming election, said a Reuters report quoting the government spokesperson. The 67-year-old ex-world leader is showing no vital signs after being rushed to hospital, said news agency AFP quoting Japanese media. A suspect has been taken into custory.

“Former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo collapsed during a speech in the city of Nara, in western Japan. Initial reports say he may have been injured. An NHK reporter on site heard something that sounded like a gunshot, and saw Abe bleeding,” NHK said in an alert.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, addressing the media on Friday morning, said that he did not know of Abe’s current condition. “Such an act of barbarity cannot be tolerated,” he said. Meanwhile, the Nara city fire department said that Abe was in cardiopulmonary arrest before he was taken to the hospital.

How the attack took place

The incident occurred at around 11.30 am (8.30 am IST). Abe was making a campaign speech on a street outside the train station ahead of Sunday’s election to the upper house of Japan’s parliament.

Two witnesses — an NHK reporter and a female attendee — told NHK that they heard two gunshots. The woman said that though the first gunshot was loud, she did not see anyone fall. But after the second shot, she saw ex-PM Abe collapse to the ground.

“Former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo collapsed during a speech in the city of Nara, in western Japan. Initial reports say he may have been injured. An NHK reporter on site heard something that sounded like a gunshot, and saw Abe bleeding,” NHK said in an alert.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, addressing the media on Friday morning, said that he did not know of Abe’s current condition. “Such an act of barbarity cannot be tolerated,” he said. Meanwhile, the Nara city fire department said that Abe was in cardiopulmonary arrest before he was taken to the hospital.

How the attack took place

The incident occurred at around 11.30 am (8.30 am IST). Abe was making a campaign speech on a street outside the train station ahead of Sunday’s election to the upper house of Japan’s parliament.

Two witnesses — an NHK reporter and a female attendee — told NHK that they heard two gunshots. The woman said that though the first gunshot was loud, she did not see anyone fall. But after the second shot, she saw ex-PM Abe collapse to the ground.

 This aerial photo shows the scene of gunshots in Nara, western Japan, July 8, 2022. (Kyodo News via AP)

The NHK reporter on the scene said two consecutive bangs were heard during Abe’s speech. His security personnel were seen rushing to his aid, in videos and pictures captured.

Abe has been hit towards the left of his chest as multiple shots were fired by the attacker, reported Reuters, quoting TBS. One appears to have hit the former PM in the neck.

What we know of the suspect

A 41-year-old man Tetsuya Yamagami, believed to be a resident of Nara City, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder for shooting at Abe, reported Japanese media house NHK quoting police sources.

He is believed to be an ex-military member — a former maritime self-defence force member, reported Fuji TV.

A witness to the attack told NHK that the apparent shooter did not attempt to escape after the shooting. He instead laid down the gun and remained on the spot as he was caught by security personnel.

Reactions

Current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, widely considered Abe’s protege, termed the attack barbaric.

“It is barbaric and malicious and it cannot be tolerated. We will do everything we can…At this moment, doctors are working very hard to save Mr. Abe,” he said in a televised address.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “deeply disturbed” by the news. “Deeply distressed by the attack on my dear friend Abe Shinzo. Our thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, and the people of Japan,” he wrote on Twitter.

US ambassador Rahm Emanuel said America is “saddened and shocked” by the shooting. “Abe-san has been an outstanding leader of Japan and unwavering ally of the United States,” Emanuel said in a statement. “The US government and American people are praying for the well-being of Abe-san, his family, and the people of Japan.”

Hailing from a political family, Abe made news as the longest-serving PM by consecutive days in office before he announced his decision to step down in 2020 after a chronic illness resurfaced. He shared a close relationship with India, visiting the country in 2006, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

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