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Japan's Former PM Shinzo Abe Passes Away After Getting Shot During Speech

The country's longest-serving prime minister succumbed to his injuries after receiving 4.5 hours of medical treatment.

Cover image via AP via Politico & VCG via Global Times

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Japan's longest-serving prime minister Shinzo Abe has died after being shot twice on Friday, 8 July, while giving a speech in the streets of Nara, Japan

An NHK report stated that he died in a hospital where he was receiving treatment for his wounds. He was shot in the neck and on the left side of his chest at around 11.30am local time.

He was 67.

He was campaigning for parliament's upcoming upper house election to be held on Sunday, 10 July.

The incident has raised suspicions of a political assassination because of the sensitive time.

Image via Kyodo News

Abe was attacked by a 41-year-old man from behind when he was speaking in front of Kintetsu Railway's Yamato-Saidaiji station, Kyodo News reported police as saying

It was reported that two loud bangs were heard in the middle of the former premier's speech. He then collapsed to the ground and showed no vital signs. 

Photos show the 67-year-old on the ground with blood on his shirt, as several members of the public give him CPR.

Kyodo News reported he was in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest – a term often used in Japan before death is confirmed – before the politician was flown to a nearby hospital.

Abe was pronounced dead at 5.03pm local time (4.03pm Malaysian time) after 4.5 hours of treatment. South China Morning Post reported that doctors had tried to stop the bleeding and a large blood transfusion was carried out.

Image via Kyodo News

The shooter, identified as Nara resident Tetsuya Yamagami, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder

Kyodo News, citing Japanese government sources, said the suspect is a former member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force.

His motive for the attack is not known.

A Kyodo News reporter, who was at the scene, described the weapon used by Yamagami as having its barrel wrapped with duct tape. It purportedly made a noise that sounded like an explosion when discharged. 

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