Japan’s ex-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dies after being shot

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been pronounced dead, after he was shot at an election campaign event in the city of Nara.

“Shinzo Abe was transported to the hospital in a state of cardiac arrest upon arrival. Resuscitation was administered.

“unfortunately he died at 5:03pm,” Hidetada Fukushima, professor of emergency medicine at Nara Medical University hospital, told reporters on Friday.

Officials said Abe was shot while he was delivering a campaign speech on the street near a train station in Nara. Broadcaster NHK said its reporter on the scene heard a gun going off twice before Abe collapsed to the ground, clutching his chest and bleeding.

A 41-year-old male suspect was arrested at the scene.

He reportedly used a “handmade” weapon.Abe served as Japan’s prime minister from December 2012 to September 2020, making him the country’s longest serving prime minister.

Incumbent Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters after the confirmation of Abe’s death that he was “lost for words”.

He had earlier abandoned the campaign trail and flew to the capital, Tokyo, by helicopter where in a quivering voice he condemned “a barbaric act during election campaigning, which is the foundation of democracy”.

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