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Japan’s Ex-PM Shinzo Abe Dies After Being Shot While Campaigning

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Japan's Ex-PM Shinzo Abe Dies After Being Shot While Campaigning

(CTN News) – A party official said Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, died on Friday after being shot while campaigning.

As Shinzo Abe, 67, spoke at a drab traffic island in Nara, a man opened fire from behind with an apparently homemade gun.

It was the first assassination of a Japanese premier since prewar militarism.

Japanese people and world leaders expressed shock at the violence in a country where political violence is rare, and where guns are tightly controlled, before Shinzo Abe’s death was announced. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the shooting in “strongest terms” before Abe’s death was announced.

“This attack is an act of brutality that occurred during the elections, and is absolutely unforgivable,” said Kishida, trying to control his emotions.

When Shinzo Abe was airlifted to the hospital, a fire department official reported he appeared to be in cardiac arrest.

A 41-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of carrying out the shooting. Police said the suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami, had expressed dissatisfaction with Shinzo Abe and wanted to kill him, according to BBC.

As Shinzo Abe was making a campaign speech outside a train station, two shots rang out. An official was seen tackling a man in a gray T-shirt and beige trousers.

“There was a loud bang and smoke,” said Makoto Ichikawa, a businessman who was at the scene.

During the first shot, no one knew what was happening, but after the second shot, special police tackled him.”

A photograph published earlier by Kyodo news service showed Shinzo Abe lying face-up by a guardrail with blood on his white shirt. A heart massage was being administered by one of the people crowded around him.

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