Shinzo Abe dead: Former Japan Prime Minister killed after being shot at campaign launch

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the killing of Mr Abe was "incredibly sad"

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Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has died.

Mr Abe, 67, had been delivering a campaign speech near a train station in the western city of Nara when he was shot.

After being rushed to hospital, Mr Abe has now died.

It is the first assassination of a sitting or former Japanese premier since the days of prewar militarism in the 1930s.

Shinzo Abe
Shinzo Abe

Speaking before Mr Abe's death was announced, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the shooting in the "strongest terms" while Japanese people and world leaders expressed shock at the violence in a country in which political violence is rare and guns are tightly controlled.

"This attack is an act of brutality that happened during the elections - the very foundation of our democracy - and is absolutely unforgivable," said Mr Kishida.

While Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the killing of Mr Abe was “incredibly sad”, adding: “His global leadership through unchartered times will be remembered by many.”

Mr Abe, 67, had been delivering a campaign speech near a train station in the western city of Nara when he was shot
Mr Abe, 67, had been delivering a campaign speech near a train station in the western city of Nara when he was shot

A fire department official had said Mr Abe appeared to be in a state of cardiac arrest when airlifted to hospital.

Police said a 41-year-old man suspected of carrying out the shooting had been arrested.

Mr Abe was making a campaign speech outside a train station when two shots rang out at about 1130am local time.

Security officials were then seen tackling a man in a grey T-shirt and beige trousers.

"There was a loud bang and then smoke," businessman Makoto Ichikawa, who was at the scene, told said.

"The first shot, no one knew what was going on, but after the second shot, what looked like special police tackled him."