NEWS DESK- Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has succumbed to his wounds after being shot while delivering an election campaign speech in the city of Nara, local media reported.
The news of the shooting prompted shock and condemnation in Japan and worldwide.
The NHK broadcaster and the Kyodo news agency reported Abe’s death on Friday, hours after the 67-year-old was shot in the chest and the neck.
The broadcaster aired footage showing Abe collapsed on the street, with several security guards running towards him. Abe was holding his chest when he collapsed, with his shirt smeared with blood.
Earlier, Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had condemned the attack in the “strongest terms” and said he was praying “from the depths” of his heart Abe would survive.
The motive for the attack was not yet known, added Kishida, who cut short a campaign appearance in the northern prefecture of Yamagata and returned by helicopter to his official residence in the capital, Tokyo.
Abe served as Japan’s prime minister from December 2012 to September 2020, making him the country’s longest-serving prime minister.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was shocked and saddened beyond words at the tragic demise of one of his “dearest friends”.
“He (Abe) was a towering global statesman, an outstanding leader, and a remarkable administrator. He dedicated his life to make Japan and the world a better place,” Modi said.